Florida may have accidentally banned all computers and smartphones connected to the internet
Did Florida just accidentally make all computers and smartphones illegal?The state recently passed a bill to crack down on gambling in Internet cafes. In a potentially unfortunate twist for anyone using a computer or smartphone in the state, a new lawsuit alleges the wording on the bill is so broad that it could be interpreted as a ban on any device connected to the Internet.A new bill passed two months ago by the Florida legislature expanded the definition of a "slot machine" so that it would include regular computers being used as makeshift slot machines, closing a loophole in state laws that legislators said allowed some gambling centers to operate as Internet cafes and adult arcades.
Florida's new, expanded definition of a slot machine includes "any machine or device or system or network of devices" used to play games of chance or skill, which can be activated by not just inserting money, but an "account number, code, or other object or information."According to the lawsuit, this new definition could include any smartphone or computer in Florida since, in theory, any device with access to the Internet could be used to play an illegal game."The possibilities of going on the Internet and using your phone generally turns every single smartphone, computer, whatever, into an illegal slot machine," said Kaplan.
Did new Florida law make computers and phones illegal? - CNN.com
The definition of what is or isn't a slot machine isn't the only issue with the new law. Kaplan says that the law is unconstitutional because of an amendment that presumes a device is a slot machine if "it is used to display images of games of chance" and involves a payout of anything of value."Here the burden is shifted," said Kaplan. "It's saying you are presumed to be guilty, now prove to us this really wasn't a slot machine."Arcades and business with standalone gaming machines are being impacted as well, and more than 1,000 Internet cafes have already been shut down under the new law, according to the Tampa Bay Times.