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What makes a gameroom illegal?

Posted at 10:30 AM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 11:30:12-04

The laws can be a bit murky when it comes to gamerooms here in the Lone Star State, and the uncertainty of those laws is one of the main reasons Prime Time, a popular gameroom, shut its doors for the time being.

Corpus Christi Police Department Asst. Chief for Investigations Todd Green admits the law can be complex.

“It's somewhat complicated,” he said. “Number One, if you are playing a game of chance, or even if there is some skill involved, and you are paid in cash for winning that game, that is gambling,” he said. “There is an exception for the gambling statue that allows certain establishments like arcades, game rooms, kiddie game rooms, and whatnot to operate. That exception is: you can pay a reward, but it can't be cash. It has to be a toy or something like that.”

Green also said the prizes people win at game rooms can't be more than 10 times the amount of one spin or play -- and it can't be over $5 in value.