East Texas gambling operation is out of luck

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When Peewee Stenson showed up looking to get lucky, all he found was an empty parking lot. "I've come to gamble and play games," said Peewee Stenson.

Stenson was too late. Saturday night's raid by Nacogdoches County Sheriff's investigators in the trailer located just a few hundred feet off FM 225 has shut-down the eight liner trailer. Nacogdoches Sheriff Thomas Kerss locked-up more than 70 illegal gambling machines during the raid. He said about 40 citations were issued to patrons; a large number for an operation that was only running for about three weeks.

"It wasn't advertised other than word of mouth, they've been very successful able to spread that word," said Kerss.

"Everybody around town will you tell you about it," said Stenson.

Stenson said he heard about the gambling trailer, known as the 'game room' from small talk at Salty Dawgs bar right down the road. We spoke to the owner of the bar. The owner said he is happy the illegal gambling operation is over. He is not the only one.

"We'd get out of here at one in the morning and there would still be people coming down there," said Shane Ray, Salty Dawgs customer.

"Basically they would keep someone around the clock so you could pretty well go there anytime night or day if you wanted to play," said Kerss.

But not anymore; Stenson and others looking to hit the slot machines will have to go elsewhere. Nacogdoches authorities arrested a total of eight people. It is uncertain if those running the gambling operation were among those arrested.