Tampa city council puts restrictions on Internet cafes - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa city council puts restrictions on Internet cafes

Posted: Updated:
Tampa city council vote allows existing Internet cafes like this one on Florida Ave. to stay open, with restrictions. Tampa city council vote allows existing Internet cafes like this one on Florida Ave. to stay open, with restrictions.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The Tampa city council weighed in on a hot-button issue today: Internet cafes.

By a unanimous vote, the council decided the thirteen existing cafes in Tampa with simulated gambling machines, like the Bit Bar in downtown Tampa, will be allowed to remain open. 

The council voted to ban other businesses from operating similar machines in the city limits.

Julia Mandell, a senior assistant city attorney, said, "Internet cafes can continue to operate. I still think that is an important point, it is the simulated gambling devices, and no new simulated gambling devices under this ordinance will be allowed in the city of Tampa."

The ordinance also restricts the existing Internet cafes from expanding or applying for an alcohol permit if they don't already have one.  Those are rules Adam Keeble, the operator of the Lucky Charmz Internet cafe, says he can live with.

"We are fine with everything we have done everything by the books since days one and we will continue to do it by the books as long as we do what we are asked," said Keeble.

Right now in Tallahassee, lawmakers are considering a statewide ban on Internet cafes in the wake of a massive investigation that led to the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll.  Their decision could impact the ordinance passed by the Tampa city council today.

"I am going to be monitoring the state legislature very, very closely," said councilman Frank Reddick, "and as soon as the session is over and I am satisfied with what they decide to do, I am going to put the motion in place for a full ban."

Some Internet cafe operators, like Peter Braak, hope lawmakers on the local and state level look at regulating the industry instead of trying to shut it down.

"We are really hoping they take a more regulatory approach than trying to close these businesses down," Braak said.  "There are a lot of jobs at stake and we hope they try to keep an open mind on that."

  • NewsMore>>

  • Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-04-18 13:11:28 GMT
    An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, killing at least six Nepalese guides and leaving nine more missing, officials said.
    An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak.
  • Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-04-18 13:11:21 GMT
    Pro-Russian militiamen who control government buildings in eastern Ukraine are showing no sign of relenting despite a deal between Moscow and Kiev.
    Dashing hopes of progress raised by a diplomatic deal in Geneva, pro-Russian insurgents who have occupied government buildings in more than 10 Ukrainian cities said Friday they will not leave them until the country's...
  • Doomed ferry's sharp turn, slow evacuation probed

    Doomed ferry's sharp turn, slow evacuation probed

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-04-18 13:01:33 GMT
    Rescuers scrambled to find hundreds of ferry passengers still missing Friday and feared dead, as fresh questions emerged about whether quicker action by the captain of the doomed ship could have saved lives.
    The investigation into South Korea's ferry disaster focused on the sharp turn it took just before it began listing and on the possibility that a quicker evacuation order by the captain could have saved lives, officials...
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.