Will this finally be the year? That seems to be the question we ask every year federally, and every other year (for no more than six months) in the state of Texas. But there is a process, and glad to see the notion of legalizing Texas Hold’em as a skill game (worthy of being played for big money in all sorts of different places?) will be part of the legislative conversation in Austin for 2013.
At least that seems to be the plan, with Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) pushing the Poker Gaming Act of 2013. House Bill 292. Have only skimmed through it so far myself … (and we know how early drafts can dramatically change) … but on quick glance noticed:
- Calls for designation of poker as a game of skill, unlike the lottery.
- Asks to be regulated by the Texas Lottery Commission.
- Excludes “online poker” from things the bill is trying to legalize (along with “blackjack, hearts, pinochle, rummy, video poker, or Asian card games such as Pai Gow.”)
- Calls for crackdown on illegal poker rooms.
We’ll see what this bill becomes and where it goes … as well as who’s fighting the good fight for your poker interests in Texas.
In the meantime if you’re from Texas, have you signed the petition yet to put matters of casino gambling in the hands of voters?
Session starts January 8.
Casino resorts and poker bill on the legislative agenda
source: Texas Tribune
Hungry for Change? Texans apparently are ready for laws that keep gaming dollars in their cash-starved state.
Gaming legislation will again be on the agenda in Pokerati’s beloved home state of Texas — as it has been pretty much continuously since the days when “blue laws” prohibited us from shopping on Sundays. But this year Texas is friggin’ near-broke and public opposition to gambling is minimal, making hopes for passage of new gaming laws more promising.
A poll of registered voters taken earlier this month (conducted by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune) indicates 56 percent support full-on casino resorts in Texas, and fewer than 20 percent oppose any expansion of gambling or want to ban it altogether. A year ago, these numbers stood at 40 and 31 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, state lawmakers are wrangling with one of the biggest budget deficits in the country and the need for contentious cuts to education, Medicare, veterans affairs, prisons … and just about every other department in an effort to close a budget shortfall estimated at $11-to-27 billion — bigger than any the state has ever had to face.
But before poker players get too excited about Texas’s economic woes going into the 2011 legislative session… with elevated hopes for gaming-law success (and fully legalized poker) also comes heightened opposition from well-monied morality-driven lobbies, and possibly cut-throat intra-ideological competition over whose bill gets the biggest push. And that doesn’t even begin to address the uncertain but possibly critical stake of the Chickasaw …