TX AG: Undercover investigators paid nearly $9,000 in cash at Speaking Rock
State has filed a motion to shut down gaming operations at both Speaking Rock locations
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — The state of Texas wants to shut down all gaming operations at both Speaking Rock Entertainment Center locations.
A motion was filed after an undercover operation found that people were receiving cash prizes, which is a violation of a 2009 court order that prohibits any cash payment.
NewsChannel 9 spoke with Tiguas Lieutenant Governor Carlos Hisa, but he said he is waiting until after a federal hearing next week before speaking publicly about the case.
KTSM obtained a copy of court documents filed by the state. The documents allege that two undercover officers from the Criminal Investigations Division of the Office of the Attorney General went into the Speaking Rock locations over a period of several days in March of 2012, then again in May of 2012.
They each had $500 in cash that they used to play the slot machines. They inserted $20 at a time with a "MAX" bet. Their plan was to play a single machine until it paid out 10 times the amount of their bet. According to the Texas Penal Code, that would make the machine a gambling device.
The undercover agents received vouchers, which they exchanged and said they were paid in cash.
At the end of both operations, the undercover investigators had collected nearly $9,000 in cash, which is not being stored as evidence.
In the court order, the state is demanding that Speaking Rock cease all gaming operations at both locations, and only remain open for concerts. The state also wants Speaking Rock to pay a fine of $500 per day, for every day of illegal operations since the first court order went into effect on July 30, 2009.
The Attorney General's Office also wants reimbursement for the cost of their investigation, which is nearly $58,000, in addition to their legal fees.
NewsChannel 9 will be in the courtroom for the federal hearing.