Online Gambling Net Cafes Raided in Florida

Published Sunday, September 20, 2009 -

Internet cafe's have become the new target for police enforcement of the prohibition on online gambling in the USA. It seems really obvious that when a internet connection is offered to the public for a fee then the possibility of gambling would be there. While people used to run the gambling operations out of bars and convenience stores, they have now turned to internet cafes as a way to offer illegal online gambling.

In Florida, the Internet cafes have become more popular than in most other states. The latest raid occurred at an Ocala Internet café.

Customers of the business were upset that the police and the law interferes with operations at the cafe. They claim that it is just a fun place to go, but officials see it as something that requires looking into as criminal activity. Patrons of the Internet Express off Highway 200 in Ocala said, "Why jump on this place? There are many people who come here and enjoy it,"

Judge Cochran, the spokesperson for Marion County, said, "Folks would come off the streets, give the worker inside some money. They would get a card, and then use that card to gamble, that constitutes illegal gambling in the eyes of the law."

The alleged illegal gambling operation was reported to be taking in from $1,200 to $2,600 per day. Marion County deputies recently shut down two other cafes, known as Cyberzone.

24-year-old Victoria Coons an employee of the Internet cafe was arrested at the location and was charged with being the employee of a gambling house. Deputies were in the process of getting an arrest warrant for her boss, who was no where to be found.

Deputies from Marion County said they confiscated 43 computer stations and they're warning patrons to stay away. A patron said, "They were closed down before. I was expecting it I guess," The cafe was full of customers when the raid took place. "All these cafes are doing is allowing people a safe place where they can go enjoy some time with their friends," and "The amount of gambling taking place is minimal compared to the enjoyment these patrons are receiving while at the cafe." were comments made by attending patrons. Resident Leroy Saville said, "I think they should go ahead and legalize it,"

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