A Lake Panasoffkee internet cafe has been closed and another faces a lawsuit as Sumter County continues its crackdown on the cafes, as known as adult arcades.
Fun Times Cafe, which operates in the former Moose Lodge, was closed temporarily after code enforcement violations were found during two March inspections. The cafe will remain closed until the violations are corrected.
Sumter County commissioners Tuesday night also authorized a lawsuit to close 50K Arcade after the company failed to file an application for an operating permit before the deadline.
Both internet cafes are located on County Road 470 in Lake Panasoffkee, where residents have complained about drug use, theft and loitering involving the cafes.
Internet cafes skirt Florida gambling laws by offering cash or prizes for customers who play well on internet games.
Under a new county ordinance, the cafes must file for one-year, renewable operating permits. They also must meet standards that include hiring security guards, installing security systems and closing down between midnight and 5 a.m.
Fun Times Cafe was cited for improper signage, inadequate lighting in the parking area and no criminal background checks available. A complaint also was received that the cafe still advertised that it was open 24 hours and that a recreational vehicle was sparked outside.
Fun Times Cafe is owned by the Loyal Order of the Moose of Lake Panasoffkee and 50K Arcade is owned by MMZC Holdings of Oxford.
County Attorney Jennifer Rey said suing the 50K Arcade for failing to comply with the operating permit requirement was a better option than code enforcement because the arcade operator leases the space.
Commissioners also approved one-year operating permits for three Lady Lake internet cafes, all along U.S. Hwy. 27/441. They are Gold Rush Vending, operated by Ankitkumas (Keith) Patel; Players Palace, represented by Kelly Mathis; and Villages 2018, also represented by Kelly Mathis.