TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A former aide to House Speaker Dean Cannon is now lobbying for one of the companies involved in the fight over gambling.

Julie Fess left her job as Cannon’s legislative aide in September. Last month she registered as a lobbyist for Arcola Florida Systems, a company that makes software used by Internet cafes.

Internet cafes offer sweepstakes entries to customers who purchase Internet time. Critics contend they are a form of illegal gambling. But those who run the cafes insist they are legal operations.

South Florida lawmakers who want casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward counties have suggested banning cafes in exchange for permitting large destination resort casinos.

Cannon did not respond immediately for comment. He has emerged as one of the biggest potential obstacles to the casino bill.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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