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Eight-liners online - proceeds to refurbish courtroom

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Gambling devices seized and forfeited from 777 Las Vegas Games Bandera Downs in a 2008 raid by investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety are finally up for grabs. Funds garnered from the sale will be used to electronically refurbish the courtroom in the Bandera County Courthouse, according to County Attorney John Payne.
Forres Meadows, owner of Forres Meadows Auctioneers, Inc. and TexasBid, is currently offering approximately 58 assorted video gambling devices and gambling machines in an online auction at www.texasbid.com. The bidding will end at 9 am, Monday, Jan. 24. However, if a bid is entered within the last five minutes of the auction, closing time will be extended by five minutes to ensure sufficient time for bidders to submit their bids. In addition, a 10 percent buyer's premium will be charged to the winning bid.
In an interview, Meadows speculated that bidders might be eyeing a chance to refurbish the devices prior to reselling and shipping them out of state. "The mother boards can be easily updated to increase the desirability of the gambling machines," he said.
For what it's worth, illegally used gambling devices being sold at the behest of Bandera County, Cause No. 10-00096 include Sweepstake Video Reader, Captain Cannon Astro, ATM Machine, Mystery J&B, Mystery Bug, Say Cheese, Big Pay Day, Ben Jammin', Jungle Jim, Ben Jammin' Crazy Bugs, Money Machine, Mystery J&B '03, RA's Sceptor, New Southern Gold, I-24, Triple Fever, Crazy Bugs, Super Poker, Queen Bee, Captain Cannon, New Cherry '96, Crazy Bugs II, Sweepstakes Video Reader, Blackbeards, New Southern Gold, Halloween Party, New Southern Gold, Gold Touch, Treasure Hunting, Mars Fortune, Halloween Party, Western Venture, New Southern Gold, RA's Sceptor, Mars Fortune, Monkey Land, Gold Touch, Fruit Bonus 2006, Monkey Land, Big Boss, Fruit Bonus 2006, Happy Hour, Treasure Hunting, Gold Touch, New Cherry '96, Crazy Bugs, Super Poker, Happy Hour, Triple Fever, Queen Bee, Triple Jack 03, RA's Sceptor, World War II, Money Machine, Black Beard and a couple of "unknowns."
The machines are being sold as one lot. However, not just anyone can tender a bid. Bidders must call Meadows at least two days in advance to schedule an appointment to inspect the seized swag.
Additionally, the sale of the machines is complying with state and federal laws. Winning bidder must notarize a required affidavit, which is posted online with the lot. Additionally, specific terms and conditions of the sale are listed.
The sales restriction acknowledgement required to be signed by the winner bidder notes: "I, the undersigned, do hereby acknowledge and understand that the machine or machines that I have purchased from the County of Bandera were seized and forfeited as illegal gambling devices. Further, I do acknowledge that the mere possession of these machines is not illegal and that the sale of these machines by the County of Bandera is restricted to those purchasers that will use them in a legal manner. Therefore, I do hereby swear or affirm that neither I, nor anyone with whom I am associated, will use any purchased machine as illegal gambling devices as that term is defined by Texas Penal Code § 47.01."
In November, Payne asked Bandera County Commissioners to enter into an agreement with an auction company to sell the seized and forfeited property from the 2008 raid, which netted eight-liners, an ATM machine, computers, printers and a laptop, as well as $32,000 in cash. All seized items were stored in climate-controlled storage units on Junction Highway in Kerrville at a cost of $400 per month.
At the time of the raid, it was estimated the eight-liners could bring from $500 to $1,000 each at an auction. However, Meadows recently explained that the monetary value of the gambling machines had decreased considerably since the seizure nearly three years ago.
"Forres estimated that they would probably bring no more than $100 a machine," Payne told the court. Funds to pay for storing the gambling machines have come from the $32,000 seized in the raid. To that end, commissioners expressed a desire to rid the county of the machines as quickly as possible. "Time is of an essence," said Judge Richard Evans.
The latest bid for the lot of eight-liners and other gambling devices amounted to $14,250. "We've already surpassed the original estimate," Meadows noted.

Pictured: Courtesy photo

Gambling devices seized in Bandera County in 2008 are currently being offered during an online auction at www.texasbid.com.