Palestine police raid three game rooms over illegal gambling

Palestine police raid three game rooms over illegal gambling

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - The Palestine police force went undercover Friday to expose three game rooms accused of illegal gambling.

It's game over for a handful of illegal gambling rooms in Palestine.
Palestine police went undercover for several months, playing each game, and discovered that the businesses had been keeping whatever money that had not been paid out.

 "Those gaming places have been a blight in our community for some time, and we want everyone to know we are taking them very seriously," Palestine Police Chief Andy Harvey says.

The Texas penal code says that is legal to have gaming machines, where the result is the value of the play.

"If you go in and you're playing poker on a machine, it's going to be illegal gambling, if you go in and you're spinning and you have a few reels, and you get money back, its illegal gambling," one Palestine police officer says.

In other words, if you put money in a machine and take more money out for personal gain, it is against the law.
"What we are dealing with is the illegal sweepstakes, a digital form of a scratch off lottery ticket," one Palestine police officer says.

125 gaming machines and nearly $100,000 were confiscated.

"Trust me, they took a big hit this morning," Chief Harvey says.

Chief Andy Harvey says his biggest fear was the secondary crime that would have come from the illegal gambling.

"Robberies, murders, have taken place in these gaming establishments, and I have seen it first hand. I really believe it was just a matter of time before that happened here in our city," Chief Harvey says.

Chief Harvey closed out the press conference with a warning to similar offenders.

"We will continue to be on the lookout, and we know where the other ones are, so if you're listening, you know what to do," Chief Harvey says.

District Attorney Alyson Mitchell says it is too early in the investigation to charge anyone.

We will have more information on the raids as the investigation continues.

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