Code enforcement closes down Daytona Beach business


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach officials shut down a business Tuesday that they said was in violation of several city codes.

City Code Enforcement officials shut down Pete's Retreat VII Cyber Café along International Speedway Boulevard.

When Channel 9's Blaine Tolison visited the business on earlier in the day Tuesday he found computer games, and patrons who told him they were playing for money. A worker at the business denied that any form of gambling was going on.

"Are you running a casino?" Tolison asked an employee.

"I'm not. I'm not," the employee said.

"Are people playing games for money?" asked Tolison.

"I'm not doing this. You have to leave," said Tolison.

About 30 minutes after that conversation, code enforcement officers showed up and shut the business down.

Dottie Santucci, an employee at Pete's, said they plan to re-open.

"Hopefully next week or in the next couple of days," said Santucci.

City officials said the Internet gaming business is illegal, according to the city's code, and the business does not have a permit for its sign. They also said there was no occupational license.

Pete's Retreat opened just days ago and officials say they found out when someone complained.

"We caught this. We did what we had to do. We conducted our investigation and here we are today," said Hector Garcia of Daytona Beach Code Enforcement.

When the business closed the workers had to leave, along with at least a dozen patrons.

"Nothing you can do about it, you know? You can't fight city hall. They say you're closing, they're closing," said patron Larry Keller.

According to state records, six businesses are under the name Pete's Retreat with their status listed as active. All but the Daytona Beach location have addresses in Jacksonville.

All of the businesses listed in state records are owned by the same person as well.

The owner has not been accused of any criminal violations in Daytona Beach.