Gamblers Warned, Cash Seized In Massive Eight-Liner Raid - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/15/06-Van Zandt County

Gamblers Warned, Cash Seized In Massive Eight-Liner Raid

Using the video slot machines called eight-liners has been illegal for years, if cash is paid out to the winners. 

The Van Zandt County Sheriff and even several customers tell KLTV that's exactly what has been happening at six locations in all parts of the county.

"One lady contacted us and said she was addicted to these machines and she said, 'I'm wasting all my money on these machines. Please eradicate them,'" says Van Zandt County Sheriff Pat Burnett.

The Soda Jerk House in Edom, on the inside, really does look like a casino.

"They paid their money and when they won, they were paid back in cash, and that's not legal," Burnett says.

Customers were given warnings, though none of those we spoke with believed they were breaking the law -- despite saying they paid cash to play and got cash when they won.

"If you win anything, they pay out," says customer Tom Bromley.

Reporter: "In cash?"

Bromley responded yes.  When asked how much he has won on occasion, he said about $10.

Reporter: "So it's small amounts?

Bromley: "It's just penny things.  You are losing [money] like gambling, but it's something to do."

They say if they were after big winnings, they'd go to Lousiana, but customer Kim Jessie says they're just a good gathering place.

"I think there's a lot of worse things going on at places that [law enforcement] should be concerned with than just us sitting up here having a good time, talking with friends where we like to hang out. It's not even as much about the gambling that even brings us up here," Jessie says.

The sheriff says eight-liners have brought even more serious crime to his county including armed robbery and arson.

"One of the establishments asked one of our undercover officers if they'd be offended if a stripper came in, so [gambling is] over," Burnett says.

He says next time anyone's found gambling with eight-liners, they won't walk away with a warning.  

Following an investigation, Sheriff Burnett says those who own the machines or operate the eight-liner locations will be charged with Owning a Gambling Device.  That is a Class A Misdemeanor.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.  morganpalmer@kltv.com

 

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