Owner of Duval County 8-Liner Changes Mind, Decides to Sell

The owner of an 8-liner game room in Duval County, who had planned to open up shop right behind the Duval County Sheriff's Department, has had a change of heart.

It was a little over a week ago that Isabel Cantu Abrigo said she was going to open the 8-liner game room right behind the Sheriff's Department.

"Take a chance in life, right? You live and you die. You play and you play," Abrigo said. "I gamble all the time, and I'm a big winner. I don't know about this game room, but I'm willing to try."

Now, Abrigo said she is not willing to gamble with the law. On Monday, there was a for sale sign in front of the trailer of what was supposed to be her game room, called Player's Place.

Abrigo said that she did not want to get into a bind for being hardheaded, so she has decided to sell the trailer for $25,000. She said on Friday, she sold the three lots the trailer is on to the county. She had already spent $90,000 on permit fees for the 8-liner machines, money she said she is not going to get back from the City.

Duval County Sheriff Romeo Ramirez already shut down all of the game rooms in the county some four months ago, and he has said that he will shut down the new ones that plan to open up if they are operating illegally, as gambling establishments making cash payouts.

"There will be no second warning if we at the Sheriff's Office, with any assistance of any other agency, determine that there's enough evidence to effect an arrest on any individual," Ramirez said. "And we will seize the currency that's within the machines."

Ramirez said that, so far, none of the new game rooms have opened up in city limits following City Council's vote over a week ago to allow the game rooms in the city. One of the new game room trailers, the Blue Room, is at the intersection of Highway 44 and 359. There are at least five other game rooms planning on opening.

City Manager Isabelle Garcia was not available for comment on Monday; nor was Mayor Rupert Canales, who had previously said that the City is in need of the revenues that could be made from 8-liner permit fees.


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