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Illegal Gambling To Be Out. 2005-11-02
A crackdown on illegal gambling is not as easy as it seems. Last evenings city council members proposed an ordinance that would require indoor amusement facilities to get a license. This will promote more gambling, just legal versions of it.
The cityís work session Councilmember Jim Bush asked the vote be postponed on the issue. He said hadn't had time to sufficiently review the ordinance, and couldnít vote on it. It may very well be a very restrictive ordinance. It would be unfair to share this with the community, if a council member hasnít reviewed the information.
Commander Frank Gentsch with the Waco Police Department claimed that legal operating businesses should not be affected. The only businesses it should affect are the ones where owners are paying out cash instead of novelty prizes. Crack down on illegal gambling, not punishing legal ones that are in existence in perfect harmony with the state.
This year alone, police busted more than a dozen making payouts rather than prizes. Eight of them are still in business up and running. So it is continuing, based on these reports. Investigations need to be done, and taken care of immediately.
The new ordinance would make it easier to fight illegal gaming. Any business can go legit with that nominal fee and license, allow for police inspections. This will include all places where games currently exist, even at children places like Chucky Cheese. They will work harder this time to prevent law breakers.
This is what the issue is, and it is very cut and dry, but yesterdays claim created some new concerns. The ordinance was supposed to go into action in within the next month, but now new issues will delay this all. Voting on the matter will likely push the issue to next year. Meanwhile the city council is expecting that a public hearing will be conducted on the issue. It will be there that they can discuss the ordinance in a work session at the next council meeting, which will convene in the next two weeks.
(By Andrea)