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2016-09-21 digital edition

8-liners are raping Willacy County

Text: T T
Who is going to do something about it?
by Paul Whitworth, Editor & Publisher

This newspaper has been fighting illegal 8- liner gambling since 2008. It has mostly been a futile effort, because so many supposedly law abiding citizens support the gambling industry.

That includes county employees and elected officials who think illegal gambling is a great way to pass the time. That would be fine except that State Law prohibits the award of cash prizes to the gamblers’, so-called, “winners.”

Willacy County is not what one would call a law and order county. Many people here don’t seem to want a lot of law enforcement unless it is their home that has been burglarized.

I took a little drive from Raymondville to Sebastian Saturday night with a friend and we couldn’t believe our eyes. We estimated as many as one thousand cars parked in front of the garishly lighted gambling dens.

It was my expectation that after the election, our District Attorney would bring in a task force to raid the casinos, seize their machines and bust the owners or operators. Of course, that didn’t happen. Bernard Ammerman lost his re-election bid.

Ammerman is out the door and human nature being what it is, the lame duck D.A. can hardly be expected to take any interest in Willacy County’s gambling problems.

Ok, who can do something about this mess?

Well, Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence is responsible for law enforcement in the rural areas of the county. But the sheriff will tell you that he doesn’t have the manpower to raid the casinos and I believe that. However, the sheriff can get something done if he wants to. Heck, he may be working on the problem... I doubt it, because he just got back from another junket to the Border Sheriff’s Conference in New Mexico. What could the sheriff do?

Well, for starters, he could contact the Cameron County Task Force. I am sure that Cameron County D.A. Luis Saenz would be glad to help out his neighbor. And the Texas Rangers could also be asked to come in to investigate the reasons why State Law is being ignored in Willacy County.

This poverty stricken county can never expect to amount to anything as long as out-oftown crooks are allowed to come here and siphon off what few dollars we have.

How long do you think the new CVS Pharmacy, will be here when they find out that locals have no dollars to shop with because it all goes into the 8-liners? Not long, I think. So, we either want economic progress or we want to gamble - which is it?

Finally, I want to congratulate Raymondville Mayor Gilbert Gonzales and the city commissioners for not allowing gambling to return to our city. They want our retail sector to grow and it can’t as long as gambling is taking all our ready cash.

2016-09-21 / News

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