Local News

Jun 13, 2013 12:04 PM by Mike Manzoni -- mmanzoni@kristv.com

Sheriff and Business Owner at Odds Over Game Room Accusation

SINTON -- The San Patricio County sheriff and a former game room owner have conflicting stories over the reason a game room closed its doors last month.

Sylvia Garza, who owned the Pot of Gold game room in Sinton, voluntarily shut it down after a series of raids on other game rooms last month.

But Sheriff Leroy Moody said Garza closed because she was operating illegally by awarding cash prizes. "I know that what she's doing is illegal because I already checked with the attorney general's office and they had given me a rundown on it, and I knew the point system was just the same thing as paying cash."

In March, 6 News first reported on Garza's game room after she allowed our cameras inside and showed us how she used point cards and gave out household items such as paper towels and soap as prizes.

Garza also said her game room was members-only to prevent criminals or unwanted customers from coming in, but Sheriff Moody said that too was a ruse designed to keep law enforcement officers out. "I wasn't born yesterday. I've been in this business almost 49 years, and I've seen every little trick in the book there is, and that was just another one of them."

But Garza adamantly denies any allegations that she did anything illegal. "You still are saying that at no point ever here was any cash ever given out?,' asked the reporter. 'At no point, and I've already told him [the sheriff] that, I told y'all that. Y'all saw that we were doing the cards."

Since Garza closed her game room voluntarily, Sheriff Moody said she will not face any charges.

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