Are county, city efforts to crack down on game rooms really working?

New regulations are in place in the county and city to crack down on illegal 8-liner operations. But are they stopping the violence?
March 27, 2014 4:27:55 PM PDT
A series of investigations by 13 Undercover revealed game rooms are operating like illegal casinos. The city and the county have been working to crack down on violators, hoping to curb the violence those game rooms often attract.

There are new regulations in place in the county and city to crack down on illegal 8-liner operations. But it doesn't seem to be working.

"That security guard was a good guy. He'd go out of his way to help you," one woman told Eyewitness News.

A security guard gunned down during another robbery. This time at an illegal 8-liner room in the county back in 2011.

It's a familiar story. Employees at these illegal 8-liner operations are rolling the dice with their own lives for a paycheck.

Last summer, 13 Undercover took hidden cameras into several Houston-area game rooms that authorities say are operating illegal gambling. And at several of these locations, what we found is money flowing freely. When their is a winner, the illegal payout came.

And what authorities are finding is that with the money often comes violence. Within less than 24 hours of our report, two gamerooms were hit, including the Monroe game room on Almeda Genoa; the security guard was attacked, gun shots were fired and an employee was left dying.

But it's not just employees and security guards being gunned down. Insiders say gamblers are also being targeted.

"If they win big, they make themselves potential targets for people waiting on the outside," one undercover law enforcement officer said.

The Houston Police Department says violence at illegal 8-liner operations is down in the past few years. But these places continue to be a problem for law enforcement.

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