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I am vehemently opposed to the closing of gaming arcades -- a source of entertainment and social opportunities for many, including a large proportion of senior citizens. These arcades are no more harmful than bingo parlors, race tracks and -- yes -- even the Florida lottery. The proliferation of arcades encourages competition, which helps to keep them reasonably fair to the players. They also provide employment and revenue to the state. And that leads me to my primary concern: what appears to be an absurd rationale of closing hundreds of businesses at a time when Florida is still experiencing a struggling economy -- as well as putting thousands of employees out of work and onto the unemployment rolls. Hasn't the Florida legislation considered the significant impact the bill would have on the state's economy? I thought the Republican party was pro-business -- and yet a Republican senator sponsored an anti-small-business bill with predictable and adverse trickle-down economic consequences as a result of a scandal in Tallahassee that has nothing to do with arcades. It's especially crucial now that the high season is over and nearly every business has enough challenges to keep afloat during the summer months. Perhaps Senator John Thrasher and his co-sponsors are hoping seniors and other constituents will forget this highly unpopular decision during the next election. Yet I have heard many say they won't forget...and neither will I. C'mon Gov. Scott -- please don't sign the bill that will shut down so many small businesses and put thousands out of work based on some nebulous moral concept. Aren't we seeing enough vacant store fronts now -- or haven't you noticed?
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Apr 5, 2013