Gaming raid

Law enforcement agents carry eight-liner equipment out of a local gaming room after a raid on Thursday, April 29. 

The Palestine Police Department executed six separate search warrants at illegal game rooms early Thursday morning, April 29.

The search warrants, signed by 369th District Judge Michael Davis, were obtained following investigations into the operation of illegal gaming machines at several locations. Officers seized a total of 123 game machines from the six locations and around $67,000 cash.

“In recent months, we have received numerous complaints and calls at these locations,” said Chief Mark Harcrow. “Aside from the illegal gambling, we have had cases ranging from aggravated robbery to drug trafficking at these places. They simply are not good for our community.”

At 9 a.m. on Thursday, investigators, with assistance from Texas Department of Public Safety and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, served search warrants at the following locations:

• Jags #1- 500 E. Palestine Ave.

• Jags #2- 3804 W. Oak

• Pitt Stop- 1221 N. Link

• Mini Mart- 321 W. Palestine Ave.

• Lucky Star Grocery- 704 W. Palestine Ave

• Ross #2- 3001 W. Oak

Eight-liner machines in Texas have been a source of controversy over the last few years. Texas law forbids gambling devices, like these machines, from awarding cash prizes. However, there is a “fuzzy animal” exception which allows operators to award prizes that are worth less than $5, or no more than 10 times the cost of one play, whichever is less. Most gaming operations that use eight-liners in Texas operate under this exception.

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