Florida bans computers

Florida tried to ban Internet Cafes that were functioning as unlicensed casinos, but may have banned smartphones and computers instead, due to language that defines slot machines as “any machine or device or system or network of devices” that can be used in connection with games of chance. I question the legitimacy of shutting down… READ THE REST

It’s hard to come down too hard on them when they were FINALLY trying to do something positive for the state. Those “internet cafes” were popping up everywhere, and obviously taking advantage of those who could least afford to be losing money. They’ll sort out the details, I’m still happy they made a step in the right direction.


Arguably, even without the internet, they may have banned cellphones:

Section 4. Section 849.16, Florida Statutes, is amended to
178 read:
179 849.16 Machines or devices which come within provisions of
180 law defined.—
181 (1) As used in this chapter, the term “slot machine or
182 device” means any machine or device or system or network of
183 devices is a slot machine or device within the provisions of
184 this chapter if it is one that is adapted for use in such a way
185 that, upon activation, which may be achieved by, but is not
186 limited to, as a result of the insertion of any piece of money,
187 coin, account number, code, or other object or information, such
188 machine or device or system is directly or indirectly caused to
189 operate or may be operated and if the user, whether by
190 application of skill or by reason of any element of chance or of
191 any other outcome of such operation unpredictable by the user
192 him or her, may:
CS/HB 155, Engrossed 1 CORRECTED COPY 2013 Legislature
CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
Page 8 of 22
193 (a) Receive or become entitled to receive any piece of
194 money, credit, allowance, or thing of value, or any check, slug,
195 token, or memorandum, whether of value or otherwise, which may
196 be exchanged for any money, credit, allowance, or thing of value
197 or which may be given in trade; or
198 (b) Secure additional chances or rights to use such
199 machine, apparatus, or device, even though the device or system
200 it may be available for free play or, in addition to any element
201 of chance or unpredictable outcome of such operation, may also
202 sell, deliver, or present some merchandise, indication of
203 weight, entertainment, or other thing of value.

So, any system that implements a login or authentication mechanism before allowing the user access to use of the system(like, oh, pretty much anything that isn’t your computer talking to itself) is a ‘slot machine’. Cellphones, ATMs, XBL Gold accounts, PPPOE-authenticated DSL connections, etc, etc.

They might have banned guns too, Russian Roulette is a game of chance.


They should be ban everything, we all guys can back to primitive society.

Hmm… no one from Florida has commented here yet. Spooky.


I’m a little confused by the definition of buttocks. Seems to me that almost all thong-type bikinis would be banned.

Anyway, way to go Florida! Not bad enough to screw up ballot counting, now you have to screw up internet access as well.

Yep. Greece did pretty much this (in much the same clumsy-legalese) way a decade ago.


I was working there at the time. To be fair, many of the “internet cafes” targeted really were in fact underground gambling dives, it’s just the wording of the law was screwed up to be over-inclusive.

“Florida bans computers”

Still not as dumb as these guys:

Here is a reply from someone in Florida. These were not “Internet Cafe’s” as most of the country thinks of them. You could not go in and check your e-mail. They existed ONLY to let you play slot machines, win things that you could convert to cash using a loophole in the law to allow it to be legal as a Sweepstakes. usually the “Prizes” were pre-paid calling cards that could be converted to cash. Real internet cafes in the state have been hurt or destroyed by people thinking they were gambling places, not coffee houses with computer access. I had a friend who owed a real “internet cafe” who lost the bussness because the public did not understand.

Not mentioned is that this issue also forced Jennifer Carroll, the Lieutenant Governor, to have to resign. It turned out that a company that she owned was involved somehow with the promotion and implementation of the illegal gambling sites. She disappeared in a hurry. Too bad it wasn’t our Governor instead.

This demonstrates that many people in positions of power have no interest in governing - it is enough to look important and make important statements. Look how many bills the US Congress has passed with the full knowledge the Senate will ignore them. This week they will repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 38th time. Yes, really.

The ban surely includes voting machines as well, no?

Well, as they appear to be more or less random, not to mention inimical to their users, especially in Florida…

Sad to say it but this is not an isolated case. When lawyers make regulations about technology they screw things up. The Real ID act doesn’t require anything actually printed on an ID card and it requires some documents be scanned but there is no requirement to save the scan data. The USDA implementation of the Animal Welfare Act is a mess.

The ATM is my favourite slot machine - I always seem to win. JACKPROT!

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They should have a principal in the law about how hard it is to write a law that actually will do what you want and not anything else.


What? They’re not still laser-focused on jobs?!


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