Tampa, Florida -- The march is on to wipe so-called internet cafes off the map in Florida, and key votes are set for Thursday.
Both the Tampa City Council and the Florida House of Representatives will vote Thursday on whether to close the legal grey areas that allow the cafes to exist.
They're called internet cafes or sweepstakes cafes, but critics say they're essentially unregulated gambling parlors.
The machines inside use the same rules as sweepstakes like Monopoly at McDonald's. But they're set up to look and feel like electronic slot machines.
Scandal involving a chain of these so-called cafes -- and the shady activity done by their operator, Allied Veterans of the World -- brought down Florida's Lt. Governor.
Now, Tampa's City Council will vote Thursday morning on whether to stop any new ones from opening in the city.
Tampa's city attorney says he's not convinced the city has the authority to ban the cafes outright, so the proposed law would try to suffocate them by stopping new ones, limiting signage, and keeping anyone under 18 from going inside.
A statewide ban, which would trump a local ban, is on the calendar for a vote in the Florida House on Thursday morning. The State Senate is also putting a statewide ban on the fast track.
For a ban to kick in, both the House and Senate would have to approve it, and then Gov. Rick Scott would need to sign it.
Scott has already said he considers a statewide internet cafe ban to be "on the table."
We'll be inside the Tampa City Council meeting at 9 a.m. and will share updates on its progress here on wtsp.com and on Twitter at @WTSP10News.
Follow 10 News reporter Grayson Kamm on Twitter at @graysonkamm as he travels Tampa Bay telling your stories.
Grayson Kamm. 10 News