Day after raid former mayor says ~yes we pay cash, its legal TM

Yes we pay cash, I never said we don TMt and we do pay cash, it TMs legal to pay cash," Former Mayor Pat Ahumada said.

After spending three hours in jail, Ahumada is out on a $2,000 bond and is speaking out about his arrest.

He's charged with keeping a gambling place, a class A misdemeanor.

He tells Action 4 News the charges against him are bogus and wants to get the word out that he runs a legal pre-determined finite sweepstakes business.

"They get a card, they put money into a card just like a credit card, you put that card in. You buy internet time, you go on the internet and you can play, you can go to AOL you can go to Facebook you can go anywhere you want and then when you finish you redeem your card. When you finish you redeem your card so we give you your cash," Ahumada said.

Ahumada said if his business was illegal he would voluntarily close his doors.

Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said there TMs a misconception that a sweepstakes is legal gambling because they utilize a computer.

"The sweepstake industry has tried to jump through the loop holes created by the eight-liner industry by dressing it up and changing the terminology but my response to that is you take a pig, you dress it up and put lipstick on it, it TMs still a pig," Saenz said.

Cash and more than 200 computers were seized from the Goldmine 777 in Brownsville.

Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos said while the machines themselves aren't illegal, when you start paying out more than the law allows; that's when it becomes an issue.

He said it's the tax assessor collector who issues the permits, something he is seeking to stop.

"We will be visiting with the tax assessor collector to find out if there TMs a way that he can implement a moratorium on issuing of the permits," Cascos said.

As for the selection of the businesses raided, Saenz said they were chosen by Homeland Security.

He said they targeted locations where people could get the message that they are serious about closing these businesses.

A lady last night at the Goldmine 777 won $1,900 which Saenz says, is illegal.

He wants everyone to know these locations will be closed down.

Mr. Saenz warns the public that at one point they will start arresting people and that the next raid is coming.

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