JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Three months after state authorities shut down all internet gaming cafes in the state -- a new law was passed to ban them -- one has re-opened it's doors in Jacksonville, and it's open for business right now.
Against all odds, one internet cafe in Jacksonville is back.
"We're back. If I wasn't convinced we were doing things legally we wouldn't be back," said General Manager Pete Miller.
Pete's Retreat Cyber Cafe on the Westside closed down in April after the raid on Allied Veterans, and a new state law that banned internet gambling cafes.
But after months of working with lawyers and software developers, they're convinced the new and improved Pete's is operating within the law.
Some of the changes are obvious. Payouts have changed from cash vouchers to cash, and there are no spinning wheels on the screens.
It's less spontaneous too -- the machine tells customers whether or not they won the next round before they play.
"If you scratch off a small amount of a lottery ticket at one time, it's the same as if you scratch it all off real quickly," said Pete.
The changes don't seem to bother longtime customers who have packed the Westside location since it re-opened last week.
"I don't come here to win, I come here to enjoy myself, and if I happen to win, so be it," said customer Danny Jay.
But just how long they'll have to enjoy it is a gamble.
Miller says he has not heard from the city, state, or police since he opened the doors.
"We've invited them to come down. And so far they haven't done that, but we think we're legal and we want them to think we're legal too," said Miller.
In a statement, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says they're investigating whether or not these new cafes are legal, but they cannot comment on specific locations.
They do encourage the community to let them know when new cafes pop-up in Jacksonville so they can keep an eye on them.
First Coast News