One criticism that our government instituions face, beyond issues like corruption and incompetence, is the social disconnect and/or the ignorance of reality. This coupled with good intentions can sometimes have laughable and potentially disastrous consequences. Or worse, when politicians take action to protect or attack each other.
Ounce of Prevention, Pounds of Side-Effects
The state of Florida wants to shut down internet slot machines and all online gambling, which has often taken place in internet cafes all over the state.
In April, Governor Rick Scott approved a ban on all slot machines as well as ALL internet cafes to stop this scourge of untaxed gambling. Part of this law seems to stem from a scandal involving a charity which former Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll was consulting for and accusations that it was actually a front company for illegal internet gambling.
To counter, the state’s legislature quickly wrote and passed a very broad, sweeping bill to prevent such activities in the future.
Shut It Down, Shut It All Down
The new law shutdown over 1,000 small businesses almost immediately, including those that marketed directly to migrant workers, many of whom do not have their own internet services for finances and keeping in touch with family.
Incredible Investments, LLC out of Miami-Dade is now taking the state to court. Business owner Consuelo Zapata and her legal team are suing after the law shut down her company.
Curiously, the attorneys are arguing that the law’s very vague and broad language covers not just internet gambling halls.
The ban defines Illegal Slot Machines as any “system or network of devices” that many be used in a game of chance.
According to the Miami law firm of Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine that could be applied to a number of devices, including your phone or home PC or even business networks.
So, in their effort to look tough on crime the state of Florida may have banned nearly all forms of modern computing. Right now, if you’re in Florida and viewing this page you could be using an illegal system or network of devices to do so.
Aren’t you ashamed?
Zapata’s lawsuit maintains that such a ban is unconstitutional. It was filed on June 28th, so there is no verdict yet.