|Published:||Apr 10, 2013 8:41 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Apr 10, 2013 11:39 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, FL--It is now illegal to operate an internet cafés in Florida after Governor Scott signed the measure into law this afternoon.
The legislation was rushed through after a series of high profile raids last month that led to the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll.
The bill sponsor says that if internet cafés don't change their business model or close--they can expect a visit from law enforcement.
Here in Southwest Florida, many internet cafe and adult arcade employees and customers now find themselves without a job or a place to play.
Many businesses across the area have already shut down the computers and gaming machines.
Evelyn McCool lives to see her co-workers and friends at the Vegas Three Casino arcade in Cape Coral
"I have been here going on to five years," said McCool.
"The people here are my family, extended family," she said.
McCool had the tough duty of posting a "closed" sign on the front door this afternoon.
"It is devastating, it is very devastating," she said.
They were forced to shut down after Governor Rick Scott signed a law making internet cafe's and arcades that use gift cards for prizes illegal. We stopped by multiple cafes only to find most of the doors locked, lights turned off and computers shut down.
"It is upsetting and we all cried when people left they cried and we all gave hugs," said Kathy Borgardt.
Borgardt works alongside McCool and says everyone who works and plays at the arcade is like a big family.
"These people are hurting, they are upset, they don't know what to do," said Borgardt.
Now Borgardt herself is left with no other options.
"I will have to look for work and go on unemployment," she said.
"You are destroying a social gathering and for what purpose?," said one customer.
A social gathering that now the owner of the Vegas Three Casino is fighting to regroup and will possibly take some kind of legal action.
"This doesn't seem like America, it doesn't seem fair. This is an independent small business man and we are shut down, for what?," said McCool.