Monday, July 08, 2013

Florida Did Not Ban Computers & Mobile Phones

Progressive are having fun linking to a Huffington Post article about Florida accidentally banning all computers and mobile phone devices. The truth is the HB 155 was written for internet cafe computers "adapted" to be gambling games.
(1) As used in this chapter, the term "slot machine or device" means any machine or device or system or network of devices that is adapted for use in such a way that, upon activation, which may be achieved by, but is not limited to, the insertion of any piece of money, coin, account number, code, or other object or information, such device or system is directly or indirectly caused to operate or may be operated and if the user, whether by application of skill or by reason of any element of chance or any other outcome unpredictable by the user, may:

(a) Receive or become entitled to receive any piece of money, credit, allowance, or thing of value, or any check, slug, token, or memorandum, whether of value or otherwise, which may be exchanged for any money, credit, allowance, or thing of value or which may be given in trade; or

(b) Secure additional chances or rights to use such machine, apparatus, or device, even though the device or system may be available for free play or, in addition to any element of chance or unpredictable outcome of such operation, may also sell, deliver, or present some merchandise, indication of weight, entertainment, or other thing of value. The term "slot machine or device" includes, but is not limited to, devices regulated as slot machines pursuant to chapter 551.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida legislature didn't ban computers and mobile phones. If you plan on rigging your phone or computer into a gambling machine then you would be breaking the law. I don't imahine anyone plans to turn their iPhone into a slot machine.

Consuelo Zapata, owner of Incredible Investments, LLC, claimed in a lawsuit against the State Attorney's office of Miami-Dade County that HB 155 has banned all computers and mobile phones. Zapata claims that his internet cafe is just providing a public service of help people get on the web. Zapata's attorney stated in the complaint that the plaintiff's internet cafe runs game promotions. The game promotions is what cafe owners that have conducted gambling used to legally allow them to have online gambling. That changed after HB 155 became law. If people are paying to gamble on Zapata's computers then it is illegal under Florida law.

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