Seminole County strip mall casinos close to revamp games

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - The owner of a strip mall casino in Casselberry put a sign on the front window that says, "The county and sheriff have determined they know better than you, as to how to spend your money."

It is in response to the county's attempt to shut down what it calls illegal gambling.

On Wednesday WFTV's Bianca Castro found signs posted at all nine strip mall casinos in the county, telling customers they are closed, for now.

Castro learned that many of them are making changes to the computers that display a type of simulated gaming and offer cash prizes, which county leaders said is illegal gambling.

"Yeah, I think they're overreaching, considering the state has a state funded lottery and you can go to church and play bingo," said Bill Steele, an employee of Jack's or Better strip mall casino in Casselberry.

Steele said he is behind the owners of the strip mall casinos. Those owners said the county's ordinance is unconstitutional. They are suing the county in federal court.

The owners of Allied Veterans Center in Apopka said they are taking slot-style games off of their computers. They said they will still offer sweepstakes entries and prizes to customers who buy internet time.

The owners said they will be in compliance with county code, but their legal battle is far from over.

At least one operator is calling it quits.

"He's moving to Deltona, and so far, Volusia hasn't lowered the hammer the way Seminole has, so, we'll see what happens," said Steele.

Two of the strip mall casinos are expected to reopen Wednesday night.