LAREDO — The lights coming from the digital slot machines danced on rows of empty chairs on a recent night in a South Texas gaming hall that was only partially filled.
But employees were content with what business they had.
“Are you a member?” an employee asked a reporter in Spanish. “You have to be a member, and only the owner can approve you. He’s not here.”
The lukewarm reception for strangers is common in these gaming halls, which are legally allowed to operate, provided that players do not walk away with prizes — either cash or goods — worth more than ...