(MIAMI, April 10, 2013) – I commend Florida Governor Rick Scott for signing the statewide ban on internet cafés and “maquinitas” into law today. I also commend State Representatives Carlos Trujillo of District 105 in Doral and Jimmy Patronis of District 6 in Panama City, as well as Senator John Thrasher of District 6 in St. Augustine, for taking a leadership role on this important matter.
I have held a long-standing position against these machines and as a County Commissioner introduced legislation to address the issue, including the creation of an Illegal Gaming Task Force. I also pledged during my campaign for Mayor that I would make every effort to combat these illegal gaming outlets, and the signing of this law will help to fulfill that pledge.
With the strength of the law now on our side, we will be able to fully and effectively combat the proliferation of these illegal gaming operations which are associated with organized crime. To that end, I have already directed Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson to begin enforcing the law. There is no longer any ambiguity about the fact that these machines and operations are illegal, and the newly-signed law will help deter the continued growth of illegal activities in Miami-Dade County and throughout the State of Florida.
Note: “Maquinitas” are amusement games and/or machines that depart from the traditional definition of amusement games to also include casino-style games.