Sheriff Gives Warning to Gamerooms in Nueces County

Gamerooms operating in Nueces County have been put on warning by the Nueces County Sheriff's Department -- shut down, or be prepared for a raid.

It was just this past Friday when two gamerooms in the Banquete area were raided by Sheriff's deputies. It's part of a new crackdown on all 8-liner businesses in the county.

At a news conference Monday, Sheriff Jim Kaelin had a warning for those gamerooms still operating, and the people who keep them in business.

Kiii News Reporter Anayeli Ruiz went Live from one business that has already been told to shut down.

After Friday's raid, Sheriff Kaelin and District Attorney Mark Skurka want to send a message to gamerooms that are operating illegally in the county. They have a list of whose next, and they want to make sure that they shut their doors before the authorities move in.

"We are making a statement in Nueces County that we are not going to tolerate it," Kaelin said. "We are not going to permit it."

A little over $51,000 was confiscated in Friday's raid of both gamerooms. The Sheriff's Office raided one in Banquete and another just south of Robstown. The Banquete gameroom had been raided before, but working with the district attorney, the Sheriff's Office is seizing the building and all of the slot machines inside.

Sheriff's deputies arrested five gameroom employees, and the patrons inside were let go with a warning.

Sheriff Kaelin said the main reason they are going after the gamerooms is that they are not regulated by any gaming commission. Because of that, many times the payouts are nonexistent.

"They prey on the elderly people of our community, and social security checks, and lead these people to believe that they have an honest  chance of a payout," Kaelin said. "That is far from it."

At Monday's press conference, a list of four gamerooms that are still operating was presented -- the crackdown list. The list includes gamerooms on County Road 93 and County Road 18; FM 665 west of County Road 93; County Road 77 between 34 and 36; and one on Rachal Lane.

The Sheriff's office said they have been given enough warnings, and they need to shut their doors before they raid them next.

Authorities believe that the gamerooms are operated by people in Houston and Laredo.


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