DA: Arcades posing as charities in Port Isabel, South Padre Island

Internet sweeptstates

Authorities believe that three charities were being used as fronts for illegal gambling.

The Cameron County District Attorney TMs Office lead three raids at arcades: one in Port Isabel and two on South Padre Island.

Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz said the three simultaneous raids

Saenz told Action 4 News that all three charities being used as fronts for illegal gambling.

"The premise is that because they contribute to nonprofit organizations that that somehow makes gambling legal but it's still illegal, Saenz said.

The first raid took place at KB Foundation off South Shore Drive in Port Isabel.

The second raid happened off Padre Boulevard at another location for the KB Foundation on South Padre Island.

The third raid happened at the Laguna Madre Scholarship Foundation one block way on Whiting Street.

All three location allegedly used Internet-based sweepstakes gambling.

But investigators learned that all three locations were also serving up free beer to customers.

That TMs something for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to look into, Saenz said.

The district attorney office TMs Operation Bishop already shut down illegal gambling in La Feria, Harlingen, San Benito, Santa Rosa and Brownsville.

The only place left for arcades in Cameron County was Port Isabel and South Padre Island.

"We expect this to be the last of it but it's up to them it's up to the bad guys as you know there's so much money involved they don't want to give it up, Saenz said about the raids.

Saenz said arcades of gone underground using houses and even businesses as fronts.

He's vowed to shut them all down

"As you know the taking it to another different level going into homes and false businesses anywhere they hide we will find, Saenz said.

Authorities are spending Thursday night counting the seized cash but confirmed that more than 100 machines were seized in the three raids.

A total of 18 customers were cited and three employees arrested.

The employees are expected to be arraigned at the Cameron County Jail on Friday morning.

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