Many people asking: How do eight-liners keep opening?
Nov 2, 2009
Nov 3, 2009
Local authorities raid another eight-liner establishment and it’s raising concerns since it was re-zoned by City Council not long ago.
Gamblers were still trying to get in at Mystic Amusement after being shut down by authorities. Police raided the establishment and the owner’s home on Sunday afternoon, finding thousands of dollars in cash hidden in different places.
Officers also found guns and ammunition:
"What we did find was basically bags full of money out in plain view at the home when the officer went to serve the arrest warrant."
Officially, the City of Laredo already has 59 eight-liner establishments and the number continues to grow; this after the city began making it easier for these establishments to get their permits.
According to Dr. Michael Landeck, owners pay $250,000 per machine in permits alone:
"We've yet have a substantial amount about a quarter of a million dollars a year for those machines. But if they were legal, we would've gotten sales tax."
But how is it that Mystic Amusement was able to get the area re-zoned just for them to open up a business?
"You cannot discriminate against people. They are innocent until proven guilty. That's the problem. Although we all know what they do, we have to prove it."
According to the District Attorney, these prizes are simple and if the establishment wants to compete, a roll of paper it’s not going to bring in the customers:
"I think it's ridiculous to think that people are willing to go putting in money in these machines to win prizes that are five dollars or less."
Meanwhile there are still two cases pending regarding 8-liners, which were raided in May. District Attorney Isidro Alaniz says the cases are complicated, involving large sums of money:
"With law enforcement concern is to get the people behind the seat ok. Doing it by financial records by reviewing bank records."
And it appears the prolification of these businesses won't end anytime soon. At Monday’s City Council meeting, yet another 8-liner establishment is asking for a zoning change so it can open.
The proposed location for the establishment is in the 1200 block of San Bernardo.