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      New law aims to discourage 8-liners in Willacy County

      Game rooms in Willacy County are nearly extinct serving only as eyesores and a reminder that they are not welcome there. The county is not welcoming the creation of new gambling establishments. In fact, Willacy County Judge John Gonzalez, Jr. says the plan is to keep the illegal activity out of their area for good after pulling the plug on 8 liners across Willacy. The new law applies specifically to Willacy County and 3 others with Willacy being the only one in South Texas. Game rooms can apply for a business permit through the county now as they would with the city, but they must abide by the county rules. From no blacked out windows to naming even security as operators so if they are found not in compliance several people must pay hefty fines. The real stickler is under the county and this new law authorities will be able to walk right in to do inspections on code violations or to check for illegal payouts. Recently in the valley, homes have been found to be used as gambling establishments and Gonzalez says if you have 6 or more in use in any establishment you can get a permit in his county, but it's also then okay for law enforcement to walk right in as patrons do and take a look around. He's confident the law allowing gambling businesses to apply for permits will turn them away instead.