8-liners

Frank Messina

In its meeting Thursday, Nov. 8, the Vidor City Council heard the first reading of an ordinance meant to deter illegal gambling utilizing amusement machines and keep game rooms’ patrons safer, according to Vidor Assistant City Attorney Frank Messina.

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Illegal gambling has saturated Southeast Texas in the form of game rooms using casino style coin-operated amusement machines known as “eight-liners.” Local authorities and the State Comptroller’s office say these “arcade games” have a potential legitimate use, but Sgt. Mike Custer of the Beaumont Police Department’s special assignments unit said he has never seen one being used legally. Rather than paying out in prizes valued at under $5, as is allowed by law, gamblers are receiving cash. 

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Last week, The Examiner revealed the problem of numerous illegal gambling dens spreading throughout the area and their negative impact on the community, particularly gambling addicts and the area’s most vulnerable residents. But the poor and the elderly are not the only ones affected by the area’s saturation of game rooms, which are filled with machines known collectively as eight-liners. Legitimate owners of legal businesses also suffer.

Not-so-booming business

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