(Reuters) - The resignation of Florida's lieutenant governor, Jennifer Carroll, and the arrests of 57 people charged with money laundering and racketeering has sparked a stampede in the state legislature to shut down hundreds of "internet cafes," whose online gambling operations have been allowed to skirt the law for several years.
While they try to distance themselves from the storefront sweepstakes, political leaders are also trying to scrub their campaign-finance reports of any contributions from companies associated with Allied Veterans of the World, the non-profit operation at the center of a massive fraud investigation.
Carroll's public relations company worked with Allied Veterans when she was a House member in 2009-10. She resigned Tuesday after being questioned by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, though she has not been charged.
Internet cafes sell phone cards or internet access that customers can use on-premises, often to gamble online, playing electronic slot machines or poker, among other games. Winnings and losses are recorded on an access card, which can be cashed out when a player leaves an establishment.
Many city and county governments, including sheriffs, have called them "storefront casinos,"
Very smart move on the part of the Florida legislature. While they're at it, they should outlaw lighters, because you can use them for smoking dope. Outlaw straws in our drinks, because you can use them to snort coke. Outlaw cars, because you can use them for the getaway from a robbery. Hell, let's just outlaw everything--there's not much you can't use in some kind of illegal activity.