Washateria accused of allowing illegal gambling

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Broken game machines and cash boxes thrown on the floor were all left behind.

In the front of the store, it was a game room, in the back, a Washateria.

"Did you know that they were coming?" we asked the store owner Hoan An.

"No," he replied.

"So, you were surprised?"

"Yes. "

We uncovered in court documents that the TC Washateria Game Room was under surveillance for "illegal gambling," and that when deputies went undercover they saw people, "...winning credits of greater than 10 TIMES the amount charged for a single play. "

An says he was running the game room and he gave people prize money from his convenience store next door.

"We tend the money to customer, but they say illegal," he said.

"So you didn't know it was illegal?" we asked.

"Yeah. I don't know."

Documents also reveal that during the bust, officers found $18,246 in the office, $582 in the Washateria and $847 from a gambling device in the store.

"Right now we know we scared. Real scared. We work hard for the money and open the business for 15 years," An said.

Next-door neighbors at this barber shop defend the couple who moved here from Vietnam.

"To me they look like good people. So I really think it was something they were not aware about," neighbor Vincent Rosas said.
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