Veterans question if they'll be able to use 'fundraising' gaming - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Veterans question if they'll be able to use 'fundraising' gaming machines again

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American Legion Post 12  (Source: KLTV) American Legion Post 12 (Source: KLTV)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Veterans in Smith County say they're looking for answers about their gaming machines.

They say months ago the Smith County Sheriff's Office told them to shut the games down, but those at the American Legion Post 12 say their machines were compliant and that the machines help them and charities they support.

They say they are looking for any notice as to when, if at all the machines will be able to return.

Five months of waiting is what veteran Mike Croson says he's had with no answer from those who made them shut down the area where their gaming machines were held.

"They told us they were illegal, but we've got lawyers that represent these games, which is programs of these games and these lawyers seem to think they're legal," says Croson.

Aside from giving money to charities, as a non-profit organization, Croson says they also take money in to help keep the lights on, and now that the games are gone, if it wasn't for their bar Croson says, “we'd probably be out on the street right now trying to find out a way to raise money.”

Croson maintains their gaming machines were compliant and for him, this issue is much more than just the games.

"We're a veterans' support organization and we try to help veterans; that's what our goal is," says Croson.

The goal of support is something veteran Buck Richardson agrees with.

"This gives them a place to decompress a little bit. It's comforting to know that you're not alone," says Richardson.

The American Legion Post 12 isn't the only veteran's organization that has shut down their machines, those at the VFW off of Rhones Quarter Road, just south of Tyler say they are also waiting for answers.

"Those machines, we don't need them to operate, but they sure will help keep us open so future generations can have what I got from my grandfather," says Richardson.

What Richardson got from his grandfather is a sense of feeling that veterans are somewhere where they belong.

We reached out to the Smith County Sheriff's Office regarding the veteran's gaming machines but they would not comment.

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