Tougher new rules for game rooms in effort to curb illegal activity

Harris County commissioners have unanimously passed new regulations designed to crack down on illegal game rooms
December 17, 2013 3:17:54 PM PST
Harris County commissioners have unanimously passed new regulations designed to crack down on illegal game rooms.

The new ordinance requires any establishment with six or more video poker machines to undergo inspections and pay the county an annual $1,000 fee.

Commissioner Jack Morman says that money would be given to law enforcement to enforce the ordinance.

Law enforcement officials guess there are about 300 game rooms in Harris County, but since they're not regulated, there's no way to know for sure.

"These places are meccas for violence, whether it's rapes, murders, assaults, all kinds of things in addition to illegal gambling," Morman said.

The ordinance also requires game rooms have visible signage and non-tinted windows. They will only be allowed to operate between the hours of 8am and 10pm.

New game rooms are required to be located at least 1,500 feet from schools, churches, and residential neighborhoods.

Morman says the new regulations will take effect in March.

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