Florida may have accidentally banned all computers and smartphones from the state


Because of a poorly worded bill that sought to ban internet cafes and slot machines from the state of Florida, lawmakers might have done the unthinkable: banned all computers and smartphones in the state.

Back in April of this year, Florida Governor Rick Scott approved the ban on internet cafes and slot machines. The 1,000 internet cafes in Florida were shut down shortly after, but it seems that the bill should’ve been looked at a little more closely before letting it take effect.

Owner of one of those internet cafes, Consuelo Zapata and her legal team discovered that Florida might have just banned pretty much every computer or device that connects to the internet:

The ban defines illegal slot machines as any “system or network of devices” that may be used in a game of chance.

You only need to read it once to see that the definition of the ban is quite broad. Which brings me to my question, did the lawmakers actually read this thing?

Zapata is now suing the state, hoping the court will deem the ban unconstitutional.

[via Huffington Post, image via Wesley Fryer]

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  • Briley Kenney

    I can no longer sit on my front patio and write. :(

  • Seamus McSeamus


    Exactly. And how is “internet cafe” defined? Does this also include Starbucks and McDonalds?

  • Mike

    [@Seamus McSeamus] I had the same reaction as to the ban on Internet cafes–I can only assume that they are used significantly in Florida for gambling purposes. However, even if one supports such a ban, doesn’t it throw the baby out with the bathwater–what about people for whom this provides needed Internet access?

  • Seamus McSeamus

    My guess is that, being typical elected officials, no one actually read the bill before voting on it. All of them voted based on what they thought the bill said, or more likely, what some staffer told them it said.

    Based on the quote included in this article, I’d say smart phones would be illegal too.

    Serves them right. Banning internet cafes? Really?

  • RealBull

    How dumb…

  • Abbzo Foggenlutely

    The underlying purpose of the bill was to keep all the gambling profits for the state while appearing to do something good for the population.