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A woman set fire to a slot machine and was then shot by a fellow player who was upset because he wanted to play it afterward, Houston police said.
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The incident happened in Houston, Texas around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to KPRC. Two women were using the machine in an unspecified public area when one of the women became upset at the machine when she started losing weight, said Lt. Larry Crowson of the Houston Police Department (HPD).
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The first woman started pouring a lighter on the car, then set it on fire, while the second woman was angry because she also wanted to play with the car, police said.
The two women began arguing in the parking lot, and then the second woman shot the first woman, Houston police said. The first woman was then taken to a hospital where she remained in stable condition, the aforementioned news station reported.
Houston police said a woman set a slot machine on fire and was then shot by another woman who wanted to play the machine. In this photo, an employee disinfects a slot machine at a casino last year in Estoril, Portugal. Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images
Most forms of gambling are illegal in Texas. As a result, unlike neighboring states Oklahoma and Kansas, it lacks casinos. Nevertheless, slot machines can be found in public places in Texas, such as stores.
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Slot machines are legal as long as they don’t award cash prizes, Texas law says. Some machines dispense tickets or tokens that can be exchanged for prizes or small amounts of money. The wholesale value of the cash or prize must not exceed 10 times the amount charged to play the game or $5, whichever is less.
Texas also allows organizations to hold bingo games with cash prizes. However, these organizations can hold a maximum of three game sessions per week. According to the Texas Lottery Commission, they cannot award more than $750 per game.
Incorporated organizations may also hold up to two annual sweepstakes as long as the sweepstakes offer non-cash prizes. The Texas Attorney General’s Office states that the prize cannot exceed $50,000 unless the prize is donated to an organization.
Gambling boats have also left Texas ports. These boats carry passengers in international waters where no specific legal authorities oversee gambling restrictions. Legal experts say these boats violate state laws and may be illegal.
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In 2019, Texas Democratic Representative Richard Peña Raymond introduced a bill to require port cities to approve the existence of these gambling boats so they can continue to operate.
According to a Texas A&M publication, illegal gambling generates as much as $2 billion a year in Texas.