SAN ANGELO, TX – With a full slate of NFL football games on Thanksgiving Day, gatherings across the state will be breaking out pens, paper, and wallets to bet on the game through squares.
But with gambling being illegal in Texas, how are so many people getting away with it? Well according to the Lubbock County District Attorney Tom Brummett, the game can be legal if done right.
For starters though let's explain the game. With 'Squares' bettors can purchase a portion of the square board. In order to win the numbers on the square that was purchased must show the same numbers as the square of each quarter.
Brummett says that there are three steps that the game must follow if it is to be done legally. First and most important is that the person organizing the square cannot receive any cut of the money for setting up the game. Second all participants must have the same chance to win and lastly it must be done in a private place.
The last point was where most people mess up. Squares can be typical in a work place, a local hangout, and even, believe it or not, at church. If those rules are broken, organizers can be charged with up to a Class A misdemeanor or $4,000 fine. Participants can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor for buying an illegal square.
“If it was me, I wouldn’t buy any squares unless it was momma, daddy, grandma or cousins there at the house,” Brummett told KCBD in an interview. “I’m not saying that anything else is going to be per se illegal, but I can just tell you keep it small, keep it in the family, keep it friendly and generally the criminal justice system is not gonna be interested in you.”