Texas: Two steps closer to legal poker

by , Jan 22, 2007 | 9:43 am

Two bills that would open the doors in Texas for state-sanctioned, regulated, taxable poker (and other gambling) have been drafted and are beginning to make the rounds necessary to bring the issue to a vote on Nov. 7, 2007. Pokerati’s favorite Houston semi-pro has the actual pending legislation on her blog.

Senate Joint Resolution No. 8 (sponsored by Rodney Ellis, D, Houston) calls to eliminate the Texas Lottery and Racing Commissions, replacing them with a Texas Gaming Commission … which would oversee the licensing of 12 “casino-anchored destination attractions.” Awesome. Two of them would be on islands in the Gulf of Mexico. Awesomer.

House Bill No. 653 (sponsored by Norma Chavez, D, El Paso) moves to amend § 47.02 to allow charitable poker runs. You know … those ones with motorcycles. Hmm. OK. While this has little to do with qualifying for the WSOP, it’s not a bad start. But at the same time, this bill should also call for plain-ole charity poker. You know, the kind that would bring La Riata back to its former fundraising glory.

This House bill is clearly the work of the Texas motorcycle lobby, which has been around much longer than anything poker … so it’s not surprising they’ve got their act together. But poker lovers (especially the high society charity sort) might want to take note and not let this opportunity to improve the poker fundraising potential slip away.

Can the Texas Poker PAC or the TCPA send her a check or hand her a secret envelope or something to encourage some charity-minded revision? Perhaps our new-best motorcycle friends can tell us how it works? After all … big charity poker tourneys … we could help kids/give away Harley’s!

4 Comments to “Texas: Two steps closer to legal poker”

  1. Lavigne In Austin

    Norma Chavez has been a long time friend of the Motercycle Lobby. Their jefe and lobbyist, Sputnik, is also a friend of poker, though his first priority is to take care of his constituency.

    Senator Ellis files his bill every year. It would be a good vehicle for whatever gambling bill could happen, but there remains a great deal of opposition to full out gambling.

    There will be at least one other full on gambling bill of some sort, as there are a variety of interests in it and they are not all on the same page…

    I’ll have an updated report on the poker only bill soon. The ice storm here slowed things down a bit for the first couple fo weeks of session.

  2. Woody

    Seems like the better bet would be to start with legalizing poker rooms, instead of going straight for the whole enchilada and trying to legalize casinos. Baby steps, you know? I understand that casinos are more attractive to the state from a revenue standpoint, but they are also much more likely to draw the ire of the conservative (Baptist) right.

  3. Michele Lewis

    Are there many Baptist in Texas?

  4. Legal Poker in the US » Blog Archive » Texas: Two steps closer to legal poker

    […] Original post by DanM and software by Elliott Back […]