Information for the Media

February 22, 1999

DPS Will Continue 8-Liner Raids

Contrary to previous published reports, the Department of Public Safety will continue to enforce Texas gambling laws regarding 8-liners or video slot machines that pay off players’ bets with tickets or other prizes.

"Several 8-liner raids will be executed in multiple locations in the next 10 days," said Marshall Caskey, commander of the DPS Special Crimes Service.

"It always has been our intent to train local law enforcement agencies to take over the investigation and execution of gambling cases in their own areas," Caskey said. "However, if we are asked to step in and deal with a gambling situation in a local area, we will continue to take the lead in making gambling cases."

DPS enforcement efforts are based on the Texas Penal Code and common law, Caskey said.

"If the eight-liner allows a player to win a prize for money based on chance, it’s against the law," Caskey said. "We have seized more than 1,500 illegal eight-liners and $500,000.  People have been convicted of gambling promotion, a Class A misdemeanor, and have forfeited their machines and their money.  Repeatedly, judges have ruled in forfeiture hearings that these machines are indeed illegal gambling devices under current law."

Caskey urged 8-liner owners to voluntarily comply with the law. "Voluntary compliance is preferable to arrest, prosecution and seizure of property," he said.