La Feria News

City Supports DA to Rid the County of Eight-Liners

There are no eight-liner gambling halls in the city limits of La Feria and the La Feria City Commission was quick to support Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz by approving a moratorium on the issuance of any permits for any businesses wanting to operate gaming halls. The DA is asking all Cameron County cities for their assistance to ‘close the gates’ for future businesses to open as his office will handle enforcement of the established gaming halls.

“We thank you for your efforts in shutting down these places, especially the ones located around La Feria. I don’t like people thinking we have gaming halls in our town when they are located out of our jurisdiction,” commented Commissioner John Betancourt.

Newly elected Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz speaks to the La Feria City Commission. Photo: LFN

Newly elected Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz speaks to the La Feria City Commission. Photo: LFN

Commissioner John Hernandez thanked Saenz for keeping his campaign promises by getting tough on these businesses. Mayor Steve Brewer agreed saying, “These places just prey on our elderly to get them addicted to the games…we are proud that you are willing to take up the task of getting rid of these offenders”.

“The right thing is not always popular,” added Saenz.

Saenz explained that these types of businesses have huge negative effects to the county’s economy and by promoting a criminal element.

“Even the smaller halls bring in $5000-7000 per day and multiply the 150 establishment equals to more than $300 million dollars,” said Saenz.

He said that this money is sucked out of the Valley economy going to three levels of ‘bad guys’; the locals, the machine lessee and the big guys in Arizona, Las Vegas and others.

“I have lots of horror stories where they abuse our poor and elderly residents with them losing their light and mortgage payments,” Saenz continued.

Along with the loss to our economy, we have the criminal element which uses these places for money laundering.
Saenz said the county would continue with their investigation of criminal activity with “Operation Bishop”.

The commission unanimously approved a resolution to prevent further Eight-Liner businesses within the city at their meeting May 14.

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