ANDREWS, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Two game rooms in Andrews have been closed amid an investigation into criminal activity.
According to the Andrews County Sheriff’s Office, on October 5, the Andrews Police Department and the Andrews Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Odessa Police Department, Midland Police Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety, conducted an operation investigating two game rooms: the Black Gold Game Room, located at 107 NW 9th and the 1106 Game Room, located at 1106 SW Mustang.
Search warrants were served at both locations and the searches then prompted investigators to open criminal cases against both establishments on charges of Gambling Promotion and Money Laundering. Charges are expected to be filed with the Andrews District Attorney’s Office.
Some have questioned what law these game room operators may have broken.
The City of Andrews said the businesses in question were permitted to operate under specific Texas law that forbids gambling devices from awarding cash prizes. Under that law, commonly referred to as the “fuzzy animal” exception, operators of gambling machines are allowed to offer non-cash prizes that are worth less than $5.00.
It’s believed that these businesses were offering more than “fuzzy animal” prizes. Now the licenses of these establishments have been suspended for at least the next 30 days and may possibly be revoked, pending the outcome of the investigation.