By BRAD KELLAR
The Commerce Journal
Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said a warning of impending raids on businesses which illegally operated 8-liner machines appears to have done its job.
Meeks issued a notice March 12, alerting businesses and some fraternal organizations that they needed to shut off and remove their 8-liners, or become the targets of raids by law enforcement officers.
“The majority of the businesses and fraternal organizations that had illegal gaming machines in their buildings have removed them since the warning,” Meeks said. “We are in the process of surveying the remaining ones where the machines have not been removed. Once this survey is complete, we will immediately take appropriate enforcement action. Most of the persons involved have been very cooperative and understand that we are only enforcing the laws of the State of Texas. As always, like everything else, there will be a few that will challenge the law.”
Last month’s notice, which was sent by email and hand delivered by deputies, indicated there were several locations in Greenville, a few in Commerce and some in Quinlan which had been warned to remove the machines.
“I really appreciate the businesses and organizations that have heeded the warning to remove these machines that are used illegally,” Meeks said. “Most folks want to cooperate with law enforcement. They may not agree, but they cooperate with the law. I thank them for their cooperation.”
The operation of 8-liners isn’t necessarily illegal in Texas. There is an exception for games which award non-cash prizes to winners, as long as the prize value does not exceed $5, or 10 times the cost of a single play on the device, whichever is less.