Kermit City Council Passes Ordinance On Gaming Halls

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

KERMIT - It's a push to push gaming halls out of Kermit. A move by the city council on Thursday puts more pressure on several area businesses. Council members said a new law would  regulate and tax all gaming and amusement machines. One local couple said the move is a big step in the right direction.

"It is very frustruating," Marci Bliss, the owner of Lucky Slots in Kermit, said. "You sit there for 10 hours thinking, I wonder if someone is going to come in and play with me today."

It's a grim reality for the owners of Lucky Slots in Kermit. In less than a year, they've had to virtually shut down their business. The compeition: businesses they say are running gambling halls.

"Illegally paying cash or putting cash on a card you can walk out and spend anywhere that you'd like, or somebody paying you green cash," Bliss explained.

Marci and Jimmy Bliss said if you win in their business, you don't get cash or prizes, you get playbacks. For owners who say they follow all the rules, however, they've lost out.

"Because their customers used to be my customers, and they still tell me when they hit a thousand dollar jackpot over there and what they got paid," Bliss added.

Kermit residents are hoping a new law will help regulate all gaming machines, not just your traditional consoles. Council members approved the ordinance on Thursday evening. Now, the Bliss couple will wait to see how authorities will take action.

"We'll finally, hopefully level the playing field here a little bit," Bliss said. "If we don't, then we won't open back up."