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Slot Operations Halted

Houston police raided more than a dozen convenience stores in Montgomery County, Texas and seized upwards of 15 slot machines that were used to conduct illegal gambling operations.

The machines, each valued at $2,500, could not be reused and were hauled away by waste management under court order and destroyed so that they can't be used again.

In gambling circles, the electronic coin-operated gaming machines are called "8-liners."

"They have no redeeming value that we know of," Sheriff Guy Williams of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department said. "So our best option is to destroy them.
"It's not illegal to own 8-liners," he added. "The problem comes in when people start giving out payoffs."

The most popular payoff is gift certificates, Williams added.

The odds of winning are said to be slim. Players earned about $20 in rewards, but the machine owners made a whole lot more. "As early as 9:00 in the morning, we had little old ladies with their respirators in hand almost fighting the deputies to get in there," Williams said.

But while some patrons might have lost out, the sheriff's department got to keep some of the winnings arranging to keep $40,000 as part of an effort to fund future operations.
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