Suspicious Sweepstakes

The Vernon Police Department is cracking down on illegal gambling inside Vernon's city limits. In just one week officers raided two gaming businesses, the most recent was Vernon Sweepstakes near the downtown square.

Vernon Police Chief Tom Wilson commented, "We didn't shut down the business, we sized the items we needed for evidence."

Doors are temporarily closed at Vernon Sweepstakes after all equipment was seized by the Vernon Police Department on Friday.

Chief Wilson said they received allegations about illegal gambling at the business. "We gathered enough information and had probable cause to get a search warrant and then we got a search warrant on the building."

Chief Wilson said Vernon Sweepstakes was the second gaming operation closed within a matter of weeks. On April 27th they sized another gaming business near the downtown Vernon square.

Police said both businesses are under investigation because they did not comply under the Texas penal code. Chief Wilson said, "You cannot pay out cash, you cannot award anything that's more than 10 times the amount it cost to play or $5, which ever is less."

That is why both businesses are under investigation, something the City Manager Mitch Grant is on board with. "If these businesses are run by the rules then we want them here, but if they don't then we're going to do something to stop them."

Grant said if they do play by the rules the city of Vernon welcomes them.

Vernon Police Department said depending on what the investigation reveals and how many people are involved, the charges can range from misdemeanor to felony. Both charges can carry jail time.

Natalie Garcia,   Newschannel 6