LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock County Commissioners, the District Attorney, and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office started working on a plan to implement regulations for game rooms. They’re hoping for this proposed ordinance to help cut down on crime they’ve seen coming out of the facilities.
Lubbock County Commissioner of Precinct 1, Terence Kovar said he is concerned about nearby schools and neighborhoods and although the ordinance was tabled the same day of the shooting, he said they are actively working on a plan.
“Holding off on adopting an ordinance that the DA Wasn’t fully vetted or the Sheriff’s Department fully vetted I think is a good thing, plus it gives us time to get all the other pieces put together who’s collecting the fees, how to make sure our fee schedule is correct,” Kovar said.
Both the District Attorney and Sheriff’s office are making adjustments to the proposed ordinance that may reduce the hours of operation of game rooms and a set number of how many are allowed to operate in Lubbock. Tovar said right now, they are figuring out where the money will come from for extra personnel to keep these game rooms in check.
“It could fall back to the taxpayers, that’s going to have to come from those two departments, and they’re going to have to come to us with a plan,” Tovar said.
Lubbock County Sheriff, Kelly Rowe, said they’re in a hard spot when it comes to figuring out a way to regulate these game rooms.
“Texas law unfortunately really puts me in particular really, between the rock and the hard place, because we have a constitutional prohibition against gambling, but yet the legislature 10 years ago passed a bill that allows for regulation of an otherwise illegal business, and so we’re stuck in the middle of that, trying to sort, you know, which is it,” Rowe said.
While county commissioners will be discussing games rooms next week during their regularly scheduled meeting, they’re expected to make a vote in September, and Kovar said he is confident in the ordinance being approved next year.
“I can guarantee you we will have an ordinance that will be in effect by January of 2024, if not sooner,” Kovar said.