Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gaming Centers Get the Message; after Thursday's Raid, Several Other Such Businesses Have Shut Down

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gaming Centers Get the Message; after Thursday's Raid, Several Other Such Businesses Have Shut Down

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Hong

After raiding dozens of Internet cafes Thursday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement appears to have the attention of similar business owners.

A day after authorities seized documents and computer equipment from seven gaming centers in Jacksonville and dozens more throughout the state, other local cafes were closed.

A reporter from the Times-Union on Friday visited six cafes on Southside Boulevard, Beach Boulevard, University Boulevard, Cassat Avenue and Emerson Street. None of them were open.

Five of the cafes are active businesses, according to a list provided by the Duval County Tax Collector's Office.

The other, Calypso Cyber Cafe Sweepstakes on Southside Boulevard, wasn't on the list, but an employee at a neighboring business said it was open all week.

An employee at the Cassat Cyber Cafe who wouldn't provide his name said the business was closing down for good. He said the owner, who wasn't there, received notice from the city last week that the business wasn't properly zoned, and they were planning on shutting down Sunday. But after learning of Thursday's crackdown, they decided to close immediately.

However, the city and the Sheriff's Office said they weren't actively seeking to shut down the businesses.

City spokeswoman Aleizha Batson said there were no open cases for a business operating without proper zoning. …

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