A 20-year-old man was arrested during a raid on a gameroom in Taft.
The raid came together after months of investigation, and help from an undercover deputy from Wilson County, said San Patricio Sheriff Oscar Rivera.
“We got some help from Wilson County to go in there and start playing the games," Rivera said. "And sure enough, every time they go in there they got paid cash."
Gamerooms and sweepstakes have sprung up all over the state in the last few years causing confusion for many people. Rivera said this operation, located at 7268 FM 136 in Taft, was raided because it was paying out cash prizes, which is illegal.
According to Rivera, the gameroom operation had sophisticated security which required customers to pass through two doors before even reaching the security checkpoint.
Once employees realized the sheriff and his investigators were on the premises, Rivera said the gameroom's security guard tried to lock the doors and deny them entry.
The gameroom's manager Michael Anthony Salcido was arrested on charges including gambling promotion, keeping a gambling place, possession of gambling devices, unlawful carrying of a weapon and engaging in organized crime, Rivera said. He also told deputies he was on probation stemming from charges in Bexar county.
Rivera says, not only are game rooms illegal, they can also be dangerous.
“Someone’s going to get hurt trying to rob these places," he said. "Here’s a good example: Why does the manager have a gun in his pocket? It’s because he knows these things do happen.”
Multimedia journalist Seth Kovar contributed to this story.