SPRING HILL - The Hernando County Sheriff's Office has shut down three sweepstakes businesses using illegal gambling machines or software.
The businesses that have been shut down are Lucky Duck at 90 Commercial Way, Win City at 5130 Commercial Way and Treasure Cove at 5117 Commercial Way.
Earlier this year, Florida lawmakers deemed sweepstakes and internet cafes that give cash or prize payouts as gambling establishments, and created new requirements for the businesses.
According to the sheriff's office, the businesses were using new gaming software that "mask(s) the software as legitimate gaming machines."
"Although some might argue that this activity should be ignored by law enforcement, recent changes to the law make it clear that the Florida State Legislature views theses operations as unacceptable in the State of Florida," Sheriff Al Nienhuis said in a press release. "I cannot, in good conscience, knowingly allow a business to clearly violate a law, especially when I have the support of the State Attorney in the prosecution of these violations. Furthermore, when businesses like these operate outside the law, totally unregulated, the opportunity for organized corruption increases exponentially."