"There are few places as depressing as an illegal game room on a sunny Tuesday afternoon," writes our Craig Malisow in this week's feature story, "Game On."
But these grim places have popped up all over town, skirting laws that can be violated with only a slap on the wrist in return.
Malisow looks at the growing phenomenon, which the Harris County DA's office can do little about -- of the 97 gambling-related charges the office filed in the last year, the harshest jail sentence so far was 25 days.
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He also talks with a man whose marriage is crumbling because, he says, his wife has lost $100,000 to game-room slot machines. "Game On" takes a look at the long and confused legislative road that has allowed these rooms to flourish.