The coronavirus pandemic has shut down the world of sports throughout the United States, and it is also shutting down illegal gambling in the state of Texas. Texas Law Enforcement officers have been working overtime trying to remove gambling devices from the state, especially from the Dallas area.
Another major raid occurred on Saturday afternoon in Dallas, in what has been a busy month for law enforcement shutting down illegal gambling efforts.
Authorities in Dallas seized up to 10 illegal gaming machines to clean up the gambling industry in the state. Law enforcement in Texas has used the coronavirus pandemic as an effort to clean up the gambling industry in the Lone Star State, and they have been busy over recent weeks.
The Dallas Police Department had a pair of warrants that they executed on Saturday, after another busy day in cleaning up the gaming industry on Friday. Members of the Dallas Police Department Vice Squad acted on a warrant against a convenience store at 2400 block of North Fitzburgh Avenue.
Work by undercover detectives tipped off the police department and led to them receiving an arrest warrant. At this location, the Dallas police department seized seven gaming machines and $39,657 in cash.
The Dallas Police Department was happy with their work at this location, but that didn’t stop them from making another bust just a few blocks away. Vice officers of the department executed another warrant just an hour later on a convenience store located at the 10900 block of Harry Hines Boulevard. This warrant led to the seizure of three illegal gaming machines and $6,591 in cash.
All of this action on Saturday comes less than 24 hours after members of the Dallas Police Department raided a store on the 3000 block of the Webb Chapel Extension. As a part of this sting operation, officers were able to retrieve over $3,000 cash and confiscated five illegal gaming machines.
Texas law does not prohibit businesses from owning or operating these machines, as long as the prizes that they award are within regulations. Texas law allows stores to offer prizes less than 10x the amount of a single bet, but all of these locations were not following Texas state law.
Any store or business that provides cash as a form of payment is strictly prohibited according to state law.
Shut Down For Pandemic
The state of Texas is under strict orders from the Governor to shut down all non-essential business operations. Officers in Laredo, Texas, recently busted a gaming parlor that was continuing to operate.
Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz made it clear that these operations were to shut down immediately due to the coronavirus pandemic, and employees were aware of the announcement. Over 30 gaming machines were seized by local police during this bust, and more than $5,000 in US currency and over $6,000 in Mexican currency was also seized as a part of this sting operation.
Another major bust came in Hidalgo County, which is approximately 450 miles south of Dallas. Police were investigating a property in the town of Edinburg, which is just 20 miles North of the Mexican border.
When law enforcement arrived, they found 13 people on the premises, which is a violation of the order from the Governor. Law enforcement officials also found 18 eight-liner machines, which operate in the same way that slot machines do. Hidalgo County is under strict orders to stay home unless conducting essential business, and gambling does not fall under that category.
Texas is just one of the many states in the US that are cracking down on illegal gambling operations amidst the coronavirus pandemic.