Lilly, law enforcement officials seek restrictions of gaming businesses

Steve Nash / Brownwood Bulletin
Brown County Courthouse

Citing recent complaints about the businesses, Brown County Judge Paul Lilly and local law enforcement officials announced earlier this week they are asking the commissioner court to “adopt an ordinance restricting the number of gaming establishments within the county borders to zero.”

Lilly, along wth Sheriff Vance Hill, Brownwood Police Chief Ed Kading, Early Police Chief David Mercer, Bangs Police Chief Jorge Camarillo and Lake Patrol Chief Troy Henderson signed a letter from Lilly addressed to commissioners.

The letter states:

In response to the recent complaints the various municipal and county governments have been receiving regarding the various gaming halls/businesses located throughout the county, the sheriff and the various municipal police chiefs and myself met on Sept. 1, 2020 to discuss options.

An example of the primary complaints we are receiving center around the establishments’ overcrowding and failure to require social distancing or masks within the businesses, as per the governor’s order, and illegal activities.

In order to abate and prevent adverse effects that constitute harm and after discussions, the sheriffs and all of the chiefs agreed that it is their desire to unanimously recommend to the commissioners court that the court use its police powers under Section 234.133 of the Texas Local Government Code to regulate operations of such establishments in order to assure and promote public health, safety and welfare within the county

Under Section 234.133, the commissioners court may regulate the number of gaming businesses and their locations throughout the county. In accordance with the police powers provided the court under Section 244.133 of the Texas Local Government Code, the sheriff and the chiefs of price hereby recommend that the commissioners court adopt an ordinance restricting the number of gaming establishments within the county borders to zero.

The sheriff and the chiefs of police attest that in their opinion, this will abolish any and all adverse secondary effects that accompany such establishments, including but not limited to:

• Illegal gambling

• Racketeering

• Narcotics

• Crimes against persons

• Crimes against property

As county judge I concur with the opinions and recommendations of the sheriffs and the chiefs of police.