The Liberty County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office, assisted by personnel from the Liberty County Attorney’s Office and the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant related to an investigation into keeping a gambling place at Fillis Store at 18 Highway 105 East in Moss Hill on Wednesday.
No arrests were made during the execution of the warrant. Eight gambling devices were recovered. The investigation began in June of 2020 and is ongoing, authorities say.
“It is a crime in the State of Texas to keep a gambling place, which is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and confinement in the county jail for up to a year,” County Attorney Matthew Post said Wednesday evening.
Recently, after changes were made last legislative session to Chapter 234 of the Texas Local Government Code, the Liberty County Commissioners Court passed regulations requiring permits for the operation of game rooms within the County. These regulations do not legalize gambling in the County, but rather require compliance with all laws, including health and safety standards.
“At this time, no permits have been issued for any game room in the County. Even if they do not pay out illegally or otherwise violate the Penal Code, game rooms must adhere to these regulations,” Poston said.
Gambling is illegal in Texas and game rooms often provide a safe space for other illegal activity to occur.
“Because many game rooms operate illicitly, they are prime targets of violent crimes, crimes that often go unsolved. While many people may see gambling as an occasional or harmless vice, their illegality makes them operate in such a way that poses a threat to the welfare of the community,” Poston said.