In May this year Texas authorities raided a Corpus Christi amusement centre, starting a chain of events that ended with the arrest on illegal gambling charges of 14 executives employed by the Dallas-based Aces Wired Inc and the confiscation of 90 'gambling machines' known as 8-liners, and some $175 000 in cash.

This week, Associated Press reported on the latest development in the case, which saw the 14 men indicted by the Texas Attorney General's office. But there is now some debate as to whether the activities alleged by the authorities really constituted gambling at all.

Aces Wired CEO Kenneth Griffith, who is among the 14 accuseds, issued a public statement expressing the confident belief that all those involved would be cleared.

"The state's investigation fails to understand that our electronic game – Amusement With Prizes (AWP) – technology fully complies with state law by rewarding players with prize points (representations of value) that can only be redeemed for noncash merchandise prizes," Griffith said.

Although a trial date has yet to be set, the charges will involve allegations of conducting an illegal gambling operation, engaging in organised criminal activity and tampering with evidence.

The action taken by the authorities has effectively shut down Aces Wired offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Copperas Cove, and if Griffith's prediction is correct, the case could lead to civil litigation consequences.

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