A judge will hear evidence next month on whether thousands of dollars in cash and dozens of circuit boards and computer equipment related to eight-liner machines will be awarded the state.
Police seized the cash and equipment when they executed search warrants on Aug. 6 in eight Brown County gaming rooms that operate eight-liners, machines that resemble slot machines.
Brown County Attorney Shane Britton filed civil forfeiture suits on Sept. 4 in Brown County Clerk Sharon Ferguson's office alleging that the cash and equipment were used in the commission of gambling-related offenses.
Hearings on the forfeiture suits will be held at 9 a.m. Oct. 26 in the Brown CountyCourt-at-Law, court documents state.
Criminal cases have not been filed. "We're still evaluating the cases," Britton said.
Officers with the Brownwood and Early police departments and Brown County Sheriff's Office served the search warrants on seven gaming rooms in Brownwood and one in Early. Police also seized bank and utility records.
Police believe the businesses are operating illegally because they are paying out cash or cash equivalent to winners, and that is not permitted by law, Brownwood Police Chief Mike Corley said earlier. Winners can redeem prizes that can be worth no more than 1 percent of what they have spent to play, Corley said.
Gaming room employees and operators who could be reached for comment after police served the search warrants either declined comment or said their businesses were doing nothing illegal.
Corley said earlier that undercover officers entered all of the game rooms and saw that the businesses were awarding cash payouts.
Game rooms where the search warrants were served, according to police, were Rank and File, 1419 Austin; Rock Solid, 2325 Belle Plain; Playback Corner, 1523 Market Place; Friends and Family, 1500 Beaver; Quick Hits, 310 Carnegie; Pink Flamingo, 1404 Third; Gold Touch Multi Game Fun Center/Mega Sweepstakes, 2701 Austin; and the Lucky Leprechaun, 817 Early Blvd.