New regulations help authorities better control game rooms in Ector Co.

New regulations help authorities better control game rooms in Ector Co.
Game room in Odessa. (Source: KWES)

ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - A game room is a place where people go to gamble. Although, some people are there to see if lady luck is in their favor, it also attracts crime.

"Because we were having those issues at game rooms. We were having robberies, aggravated assaults, drug dealing, etcetera, etcetera," said Dusty Gallivan, Ector County Attorney.

Ector County Commissioners originally approved the game room ordinance back in September. However, the new regulations have brought in more revenue to the county.

$200,078 has been collected and put into the General Fund for the county.

Some of that money is coming from various things including game rooms paying $300 per machine and employees registering themselves.

"Employees now have to have an identification card. They are going to pay $100 for that," said Ector County Sheriff, Mike Griffis.

Another new regulation is the hours of operation. At first, the game rooms were open throughout the night, but now, they must close by 2 a.m.

Also, law enforcement will have more access to go inside the game rooms.

"We can go in there and if we see a violation we can arrest on site," said Griffis. "It gives us a little more teeth and they can't deny us access for a private club or whatever. They have to let us in the establishment,

We're told that because of the new ordinance, some game rooms have already decided to close down, which Griffis said is better in the long run.

"It's going to be advantageous for us to be in control of some of those activities out there," said Griffis.

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