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Corbett Signs Bill To Help Shut Down Internet Café Gambling Operations

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - Governor Corbett has signed a bill aimed at helping law enforcement shut down so-called "Internet Café" gambling operations in Pennsylvania.

Bucks County Republican Senator Tommy Tomlinson says Internet Cafes are round-the-clock operations located in shopping centers, with banks of computer terminals offering access to gambling programs with the purchase of Internet time or phone cards. Patrons play casino games and receive cash payouts.

Tomlinson says in addition to concerns about the involvement of organized crime and money laundering, the Internet Cafes are competing with real casinos licensed by the state.

"We cannot allow these illegal operators to come in an undermine something that we so carefully crafted."

Tomlinson says prosecutions are already underway in the city of Philadelphia and that Internet Cafés are already illegal under existing law. But, he says law enforcement asked for some additional help, and so there is a new law intended to specifically identify and shut down those operations.

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