Well, this is embarrassing. A new bill passed by the Florida legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott may have the unintentional consequence of outlawing all computers and smartphones throughout the state. While it seems like this could just be a hassle for folks in Florida, it’s actually a national tragedy — after all, with Florida gone from the Internet, how are the rest of us supposed to laugh at the cockroach-eating, firefighter-assaulting antics of the Sunshine State? We’ll have to find a whole new state we can all agree to make fun of! Actually, that shouldn’t be too hard. Lace up your cleats, Oregon — you’re going in!
The new law was meant to curb online gambling in Internet cafes across the state. Unfortunately, Florida lawmakers drafting the legislation left the language of the bill a little broad, amending the definition of “slot machine” in the state to include “any machine or device or system or network of devices” that can be used in games of chance. Consuelo Zapata, the owner of one of the cafes that has been shut down by the law, has lawyered up on the matter, and attorneys at the Miami firm of Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine think the broadness of the law makes it vulnerable to being struck down by a higher court.
Granted, the new law probably won’t have much of an effect on how folks use their computers, other than shuttering the 1,000 or so small businesses it already has. It’s not likely that the police are going to start busting down doors and raiding homes to kick people off of their now forbidden desktops, even if it does turn out to be the letter of the law, which certainly seems… well, more plausible than you’d think, at least. Then again, this is Florida, where every time we think a thing is too dumb to be considered, we’re proven wrong.
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