Starr County Halts Eight-Liner Operations
RIO GRANDE CITY – Officials warn it is now illegal to operate or have an eight-liner permit in Starr County.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to a man who lives near what used to be an eight-liner. The man asked us not to show his face.
We’ll call him Raul. He said the blue warehouse used to welcome in customers all night.
“The headlights from the vehicles, you thought they were in your house but it was over there,” he said.
Raul said he didn’t have a problem with the business.
“Well for me, eight-liners should be good because you get distracted, stress relieved and everything. I used to go to other ones,” he said.
Starr County Attorney Victor Canales wants the new regulation to change homeowners’ perceptions.
“It takes away this whole notion that eight-liners were somewhat, somehow legal in Starr County. It has never been legal in Starry County. Until the state legislature in Austin changes that, gambling is illegal in Texas in all forms,” he said.
Canales said the county continued to crack down on illegally run 8-liners throughout the years.
“My office started off – approximately two and a half years ago – when the county had approximately 73 to 78 locations of eight liners. We’ve whittled that down to approximately four to seven. We are not sure about the number, it’s somewhere in that vicinity,” he said.
The county attorney said he expects the halt in operations may help boost local economy.
“We had a lot of out-of-towners come in and moved in and opened up larger 8-liners locations. All the while taking the local money and taking it out of this area to somewhere else like Harris County, Cameron County, El Paso County, Willacy County,” he said.
Canales explained having an 8-liner is not illegal with the state just not permitted in the county.