FDLE enforcing new internet cafe and arcade law
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
The ink is barely dry but Florida state law enforcement are already cracking down on the recently signed internet cafe and arcade law. These types of businesses area already closing up shop across Southwest Florida.
Arcade visitor Deanna Glenn was shocked when she pulled up to Winners arcade in Naples and saw a "closed" sign on the door. She said she had heard the rumors, but didn't think arcades would close this soon.
" I Thought there might be a temporary closing or something like that but these places are all vacant now, I can't believe there's no cars in the lot." Deanna Glenn said.
It is a similar scenario across the rest of Southwest Florida. High Limits arcade in North Fort Myers closed its doors on Wednesday. Authorities are making sure these businesses don't take a gamble with the law. Florida Department of Law Enforcement sent out posters stating all cafes and arcades that are still open, face criminal prosecution.
Brad Johnson owns a now closed arcade in Southwest Florida and said the ban is costing thousands of people their livelihoods.
" I've been doing this going on 6 years so it was very hard to tell all the employees they aren't coming to work tomorrow." Arcade owner Brad Johnson said.
The arcades could be back in business if owners change the way they operate. The machines would have to take coins instead of cards or bills. Prizes need to be actual merchandise instead of gift cards. But Johnson said it would be impossible.
"Our customers are retired seniors. They don't need another toaster, they've been around a long time they have a toaster. They use the gift cards to buy groceries." Johnson said.
Some arcade owners said they plan to fight the ban but for now the cafes and arcades will stay closed.