On June 22nd, 2009, a bill that could help law enforcement in effectively regulating video slot machines sat on Governor Rick Perry’s desk, waiting for his signature. State Representative Dan Flynn’s House Bill 358, which was endorsed by Sen. Mario Gallegos, will allow authorities to confiscate only the electronic mother boards, rather than the huge cabinets, if they are being utilized illegally.
Flynn said that he filed a bill that would make video slots illegal, but he said that he had to settle with what he accomplished to support law enforcement. If the establishment that house the slot machines are discovered to be gaming dens, where illegal cash payments are made to players, then Flynn’s proposal could save taxpayers cash on storage. Flynn said that when the sheriff clamps down illegal operations, it is like having to keep a refrigerator.
Like in Harris County, they had a 20,000 square-foot warehouse just to keep confiscated eight-line slot machines. Flynn said that the machines are useless without their mother boards. Some 8-line gaming rooms have attracted the attention of the law enforcement division of Galveston County.
Sheriff Freddie Poor cited recent homicides that happened in gaming rooms and several robberies as reason for clamping down on the county’s illegal gaming dens.
In a latest round of violence, one man was charged with robbery from a June 1st confrontation in Texas City. A customer pulled a gun and shot a man now accused of robbing the eight-liner establishment. State Senator Mike Jackson’s Senate Bill 309, which proposes to restrict game operators, failed to make it out of committee.
The bill will require gaming room operators to register with the comptroller and would have substantial penalties for violators. Governor Perry has until Tuesday to approve or veto Flynn’s bill.