Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

March 25, 2013

BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL: Gambling Arrest Fallout: Jacksonville police continue to warn residents about the legal perils of playing ‘sweepstakes’ machines in town

JACKSONVILLE — Gambler beware.

That's the new catchword for any resident tempted to play any games of chance for profit in Jacksonville.

As mentioned in Thursday's Jacksonville Daily Progress, authorities are warning business owners and local gambling enthusiasts to steer clear of “sweepstakes machines.”

Those who choose not to do so, should expect a knock on the door and perhaps even a warrant from Jacksonville Police in the next few days.

This wave of gambling awareness started March 15, when police raided a hidden gambling den downtown, seizing nine gambling devices — a mixture of running video machines, slot machines, and eight-liners.

Since that arrest, information has started to pour into the department about the different types of gambling taking place in Jacksonville.

On Wednesday, Jacksonville Police Sgt. Jason Price emphasized Jacksonville Daily Progress reporter that after a few more days of “grace period passes,” authorities are going to take to the streets to catch gamblers and business owners whose machines facilitate gambling.

“Before we take legal action against anyone, we want to give them a chance to fix things,” Price said. “We understand this is a source of income for them, but we want them to understand it is an illegal source. With the 'sweepstakes machine' you get a prepared card and put it in the machine. But you need to understand, if you put money in and get money out, you are gambling.”


This is a a recent word of caution issued by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce: Please contact the Chamber or the  Jacksonville Independent School District  to verify the legitimacy of any company whose employees claim to sell advertising on behalf of either entity.

This caution is specifically in response to reports that a Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex entity is has been calling local businesses and claiming — incorrectly — to be selling advertising for T-shirts and water bottle products on behalf of the chamber or the JISD.

Chamber representatives were emphatic in their announcement that they have not endorsed any projects related to a Metroplex-area company.

To contact JISD, call (903) 586-3661. Or contact Jenifer Newburn , Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, (903) 586-2217 or chamber@jacksonvilletexas.com

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