Florida House Bill 155, banning internet cafés and adult arcades, moves toward crucial vote

Business owners claim they would lose everything

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- - Internet cafès and adult arcades could be something of the past as the Florida legislature moves one step close to banning the facilities.

Representatives will vote on House Bill 155 on Friday and if it passes, it will then moves to the Florida senate.

If the proposed bill becomes law, some business owners say they will lose everything.

"It's almost like an adult Chuck E. Cheese. You're just not going home with stuffed animals," said Jan Prieto, who is trying to open an adult arcade in Port St. Lucie.

Prieto said players at adult arcades get prizes like gift cards, not money. She recently quit her job and dumped her life savings into her new business venture.

'They're sitting here collecting more dust," said Prieto.

Her machines will remain quiet if HB 155 passes. 

Just a week after Florida Lietenant Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned due to her involvement in an internet sweepstakes company, the Florida House is just a vote away from the next step in banning Internet cafès and adult arcades.

When reached for comment, the sponsor of HB 155 House Rep. Carlos Trujillo did not respond to calls or email.

In the past, Trujillo has called the operations illegal.

"I just don't think it's fair we're getting lumped into this. You know it's not just me, it's thousands of jobs that people are going to be out," said Prieto.

If HB 155 passes in the Florida house, it will move to the senate. If the senate passes the bill, it will then move to the governor's office for a signature.

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