Game space

Game room workers arrested this week

Tuan Minh Nguyen
Thuc Viên Ho

Two employees of the East Odessa amusement arcade were arrested on Tuesday after police said they paid cash to an undercover officer from the Odessa Police Department.

Tuan Minh Nguyen, 46, of Fort Worth and Thuc Vien Ho, 43, of San Diego were arrested on suspicion of engaging in organized criminal activity.

According to an OPD report, undercover detectives entered the company to gamble and once they won, they told Nguyen and Nguyen told Ho. Ho then paid an officer $65 cash.

Under Texas law, gambling halls are only supposed to award patrons prizes and prizes with a maximum value of $5.

The report said detectives also seized gambling machine parts, a DVR system, documents and an unknown amount of cash.

Undercover OPD officers seized more than $33,000 from the maroon gambling hall following an undercover operation last month.

Ector County District Court documents show an undercover detective entered the maroon gambling hall on June 22, played a slot machine, received 5,790 credits and was paid $55 by a employee. Detectives also observed two employees paying cash to other customers.

According to court records, undercover OPD agents also received cash in lieu of prizes in operations at a handful of gambling halls in December 2019, March 2021 and May 2021. These operations resulted in the seizure of over $125,000.

There are 28 gambling halls operating within the city limits and 35 in unincorporated Ector County.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Nguyen and Ho were still being held in Ector County Jail.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement also suspended Ho.