Bill to limit illegal gambling passes Senate Committee

Bill to limit illegal gambling passes Senate Committee
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Monday, April 29, 2013 - 1:53pm

Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.'s Senate Bill 1503 passed the Senate Committee, on April 29th, and it would require game room operators to register eight-liner machines with the State Comptroller and discourage illegal use of the machines.

Across the state, eight-liners are legal under the Texas Penal Code and allowed to payout noncash prizes, unless the operator pays cash. Law enforcement officials are reporting that some game rooms have become centers for assorted criminal activity, not limited to illegal gambling.

Senator Lucio's bill would make it easier for state and local authorities to inspect illicit game rooms by requiring operators have proof that they are not operating the machines illegally.

The bill would mandate a license for game rooms with 10 or more eight-liner machines with a $500 licensing fee and an additional $500 application fee.

"Game rooms which illegally use eight-liner machines to pay out cash awards have become hotbeds for illegal activity and violence," Senator Lucio said. "Senate Bill 1503 will discourage illegal gambling by shining a bright light on these illicit game rooms; the bill forces compliance with the state's anti-gambling laws via public disclosure and registration. With passage of this bill, law enforcement will finally have the opportunity to inspect and shut down illegal game rooms."

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