BY ROBERT MORALES
Last week, Van Horn Game Room suddenly shut down its operations after only one week in business.
The business had set up shop at 1810 W. Broadway, the former Dairy Queen.
According to Mayor Glenn Humphries, the business violated state and local gambling laws, and the owners apparently decided to skip town immediately.
A Town of Van Horn license had been issued to Hien D. Nguyen to operate the business, but after Mayor Humphries informed the operators that they were in violation of state and local gambling laws, they immediately cut off their utilities and closed down the business.
Mr. Humphries said the Town of Van Horn had received several calls about the legality of a game room business.
The proprietor had brought in several coin-operated gaming machines. When Mr. Humphries asked the operators what constituted a “prize,â€ they provided a variety of answers, including the ability to keep playing the slot machines or other prizes that could be construed as a cash prize.
No distributor or proprietor, or employee of any distributor or proprietor, shall permit, allow or condone any gambling, gaming, wagering or betting in any form in connection with the operation or play of any automatic amusement device.â€
Until the Texas Legislature amends its gambling statute, no gambling is allowed under state law under the Penal Code, Title 10, Chapter 47. Gaming falls under the Texas statute.