Internet Cafes


Now that a federal judge has denied an injunction request, scores of internet cafes in Jacksonville must shut their doors. 


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

Business Brief: Jacksonville Looks To Stem Internet Cafe Boom

Oct 4, 2018
Via Jacksonville Daily Record

Of the hundreds of internet cafes that have opened in strip malls across Jacksonville, only 90 have obtained a certificate of use, according to the city of Jacksonville.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Illegal Gaming Task Force served more than a dozen search warrants Thursday in five Florida counties, including at seven Internet cafes in Jacksonville.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — An attorney convicted of leading a $300 million gambling ring that used a veterans charity as a front has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Violence on the Northside, internet cafes reconsidered by state lawmakers, and harsh criticism for Governor Scott by state Democrats are in the headlines today.

Brian Turner / Flickr

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A Jacksonville attorney who prosecutors claim was the mastermind of a veterans' charity that actually was a $300 million gambling operation was in court asking that some of his criminal charges be tossed out.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The commander of a veterans' charity that prosecutors say was a $300 million gambling operation is pleading no contest.

Bob Mack/Florida Times-Union

Dozens of defendants charged with running a gambling operation disguised as a veterans charity are due to appear before a judge today.

The suspects charged with racketeering and conspiracy will have their arraignment in a courtroom in Seminole County.

During the hearing, the defendants will be read the charges against them and have a chance to enter a plea.

Almost 60 defendants with ties to Florida-based Allied Veterans of the World were arrested in March.

Jennifer Carroll has a new job. The former lieutenant governor has accepted a position as a senior adviser for Global Digital Solutions, which manufactures military weapons, according to WOKV Jacksonville. She's expected to become president and COO of the company after it merges with Airtronic USA.

In March, Carroll abruptly resigned from her post as second-in-command to Governor Rick Scott over her involvement with a charity that's accused of operating an illegal gambling ring. She has not been charged with any crime.

Kevin Meerschaert

The following is a reporter's log from WJCT senior staff reporter Kevin Meerschaert, detailing his experience visiting two internet cafes after Governor Rick Scott signed a bill to close those establishments in the state.

Only a few minutes after news got out that Governor Rick Scott had signed the bill, about a half dozen women were walking out of the Hardwired Internet Cafe on the Southbank Riverwalk in Downtown Jacksonville. One turned and locked the door. The sign that said the cafe was open 24-hours a day/7 days a week remained. 

Gov. Scott Signs Internet Cafe Ban

Apr 10, 2013
State of Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Gaming centers also known as "Internet cafes" are now illegal in Florida.
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Wednesday that bans up to 1,000 storefront operations across the state.

The new law took effect immediately after Scott signed the bill.

However, state officials say they will leave enforcement of the new law to local law-enforcement officials.  The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says it will enforce any criminal statutes as required by state law when any such law becomes effective.

State of Florida

A State Senate Committee unanimously passed a bill today that would shut down internet gaming centers in Florida.

Supporters say the legislation closes a loophole in state law that allows illegal gambling to take place.


How Do Internet Cafes Work?

Mar 14, 2013
Florida Times-Union

A sweepstakes café must have 3 things to be illegal: price, chance, and consideration. Consideration means that they buy directly into the game as you would when buying a lottery ticket. With an internet café, the patrons are buying internet “time” instead. They use the time to redeem points and “cash out” at the end of their session.

Kevin Meerschaert

    Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford says the arrests of Fraternal Order of Police President Nelson Cuba and Vice-President Robbie Freitas shows no one in his department is above the law.

 Rutherford told reporters on Wednesday about the two officers’ roles in the Allied Veterans of the World conspiracy.

Law enforcement officials say Cuba and Freitas received more than 500-thousand dollars through a shell corporation during an 18-month period.