illegal gambling

Illegal gambling has saturated Southeast Texas in the form of game rooms using casino style coin-operated amusement machines known as “eight-liners.” Local authorities and the State Comptroller’s office say these “arcade games” have a potential legitimate use, but Sgt. Mike Custer of the Beaumont Police Department’s special assignments unit said he has never seen one being used legally. Rather than paying out in prizes valued at under $5, as is allowed by law, gamblers are receiving cash. 

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Several months of investigation by Examiner staffers have revealed a saturation of illegal casino-style gambling outlets in Southeast Texas, with some game room owners grossing $3 million or more in unreported earnings a month. Dozens of game rooms have been identified all over the Golden Triangle, raking in thousands of dollars a day in proceeds for the business owners, and paying out cash under the table to patrons. Still, local law enforcement officers say they are limited in what they can do to stop it. 

The problem

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