Jacksonville's City Council Votes to Ban Internet Cafes With Simulated Gaming Devices

May 29, 2019

By February, the more than 200 adult arcades - or what used to be called internet cafés - in Jacksonville should be closed.  

WJCT News partner News4Jax reports the City Council unanimously approved a measure Tuesday night banning simulated gaming devices.

Some owners of the arcades, like Ryan Strickland, said the ban took them by surprise because they weren't expecting the council to take action during the meeting.

Strickland owns two arcades and said he was working with the council to try and find a middle ground. He said he did not know the council was voting on the measure Tuesday.   

“It means a lot of local community jobs will be lost as well,” Strickland said. “Which is unfortunate, because over the years, we’ve gotten a work family and become very close with employees.”

Councilman Al Ferraro filed the bill, saying the use of simulated games at internet cafes had become a public nuisance.

"This is about public safety," Ferraro said. "This isn't about trying to figure out if it's legal or illegal."

An expanded version of this story is at News4Jax.com.