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Simulated Gambling Devices prohibited in Marion County

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 6:32 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 6:54 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -On Tuesday, the Marion County Board of County Commissioners passed a motion to adopt an ordinance that would prohibit the use of simulated gambling devices in the county.

Simulated gambling devices “utilize computer or video displays of games, contests, challenges and other electronic simulations which are or are of the type of games generally associated with legalized casino or gambling outlets or which show, or purport to show, the results of raffles, sweepstakes, contests, or business game promotions for commercial or pecuniary gain.”

The ordinance was proposed by the Sheriff’s office and comes after multiple armed robberies took place in Internet Cafes (where the simulated gambling devices are found) over the past year. One of the recent incidents even involved a 9 year old child.

“I find the reports of the armed robberies that have happened, especially this latest one, very, very disturbing,” said District 2 Commissioner Kathy Bryant. “To think that someone held a gun to a 9 year old child’s head. That’s unconscionable. And my fear is that it’s just a matter of time before something serious happens and had this commission not taken action, it would fall upon us.”

Shortly after making this statement, Bryant motioned to approve the ordinance, which passed unanimously. The ordinance only prohibits the use of simulated gambling devices in commercial settings.

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