So Florida May Have Accidentally Banned Computers And Smartphones

Senior Contributor
07.09.13 7 Comments


Previously we’ve told you about Ohio’s fear of old people gambling on computers. Apparently, Florida has the same problem. But, Florida being Florida, it can’t just ban Internet cafes. No, it has to go ahead and pass a badly-written law that throws the entire state back to the 1960s.

At issue is the wording of Florida’s anti-Internet gambling law that was hastily written and passed because of a gambling scandal that had ensnared Florida’s lieutenant governor, and the state government wanted to ensure that… we don’t know, that they were tough on gambling or something. The problem is that, essentially, the law defines a “slot machine” as “anything that you can put money into and possibly win something.” In other words, if you buy an album off of Amazon and win a contest, technically your computer is now a slot machine, under some interpretations of this law.

Take a moment to consider that skeeball machines, bottle returns, and actual slot machines built specifically to take your money are protected under the law, but the computers used to write it aren’t. Roll that irony on your tongue for a minute, because it’s just so delicious.

Needless to say, Internet cafes are challenging the law because, well, it’s goofy and badly written. We’re not sure how far they’ll get, considering Florida is essentially run by a man people regularly compare to Voldemort, but we wish them luck. And, hey, Florida might have one heck of an electronics sale pretty soon!

image courtesy miss_rogue on Flickr

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