East Texas County Steps Up Enforcement On 8 Liners - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/3/06-Van Zandt County

East Texas County Steps Up Enforcement On 8 Liners

A gambling operation in East Texas is closed down today following a raid.   Authorities say without these raids, the money these machines generate, often gets into the wrong hands, including one of the biggest terrorist organizations in the world.   Thursday night, sheriff's deputies searched a building on Highway 198, just north of Mabank. Inside they found more than 50 8 Liner machines, they say were being used illegally.   The sheriff's department says these gambling operations have an affect the entire community, and now the government is getting involved to stop them.

One by one 8 Liner's were rolled out a business last night in Van Zandt County. Thirteen customers were written citations for illegal gambling.

"We got about 53 of the 8 Liner machines and approximately $3,000.00," said Sheriff Pat Burnett. In the past year, Sheriff Pat Burnett has been active in trying to catch illegal gambling operations. He says people don't realize how much money owner's of the machines can make.

"It's not regulated," said Burnett. "The owner of the machine regulates these. If they don't want any money to go out they can set it that way." Burnett says owners can make $3,000.00 a night on one machine.

"Illegal money starting out doesn't go to any good," said Burnett. "One sheriff I talked to at a conference, we talk about these, says he had actually traced some of his money back to Al-Qaeda." State Representative Dan Flynn says it's a growing problem in his district and is currently putting together a bill against 8 Liners.

"It's my understanding they cost around a thousand dollars, somewhere in the $850 range," said State Representative, District 2 Dan Flynn. "Yet, they will earn 20 thousand dollars a month. We need to do something to strengthen the law, to be able to give the prosecutors the tools they need to be able to enforce the law." Flynn plans to submit the bill to legislature by the end of the month. A bill, Sheriff Burnett says is needed to get illegal gambling out of his county.

The owner of the business raided Thursday night has not been arrested. The sheriff's department says they hope to have an arrest warrant by next week.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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