Re: Poker Bill on the Move

by , May 1, 2007 | 3:43 pm

Just got the press release from Rep. Menendez’s office. Dude, we are halfway there …

ALT HED: Floor!

From The Desk Of:
Capitol Office: Room EXT E2.212, P.O. Box 2910 Austin, TX 78768
Phone: (512) 463-0634 Fax: (512) 463-7668

For Immediate Release: Contact: Jennifer Brader
May 1, 2007 (512) 463-0634

Poker Bill Headed to Full House for Vote

Austin, TX// HB 3186, The Texas Poker Act, was voted favorably out of committee today. This paves the way for a vote by the full House of Representatives within the next week. This will mark the first time the Texas House has considered the regulation of the game of poker.

Representative Jose Menendez, the bill’s sponsor, believes that the benefits of regulating poker in Texas are far reaching. “Right now, in any size city at almost any time, anyone can find an illegal poker game to play in, “ said Menendez. “Texas ought to benefit from the game rather than push these millions of dollars into the hands of criminals.”

The version of the legislation that passed out of committee today includes the following provisions:

* Allows certain bars to have poker tables (amount determined by Lottery Commission)
* Allows Racetracks to have poker tables (amount determined by Lottery Commission)
* Allows for charitable poker tournaments
* The state gets a “rake” of every hand played
* Raises additional money for affordable housing

Poker’s recent rise in popularity has led to a dramatic expansion of illegal poker rooms across the state. In each of these rooms, thousands of dollars are changing hands without any regulation or oversight. Often times law enforcement must close these rooms down after lengthy expensive investigations that rarely result in much more than misdemeanor penalties.

“Poker could bring in millions of dollars in tourism and television instead of being a law enforcement liability,” said Menendez.

HB 3186 is expected to be brought before the full House within the next week.

14 Comments to “Re: Poker Bill on the Move”

  1. Fresh Princess

    I’m so excited! And I just can’t hide it. No, No, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.

  2. Venita

    Oh great, now I’m going to have that song in my head all day. LOL!

    Seriously, this is GREAT news! For the first time I’m starting to think there is actually hope we can have legal poker in Texas.

  3. Fresh Princess

    I know…so hard to believe the possibilities!
    Sorry about the song, must have been one of your favorites.

    I can’t remember if it was in Fletch or 48 hours.

  4. Anonymous Asshole

    Folks, I signed up with the PPA but I would be dumbfounded if anything gets passed. Don’t get your hopes up too much. The right wing whackos are on their way. I can’t wait for all denominations (preachers and priests) to come on out espousing the evils of gambling and drinking, etc (most parishiners will, of course, happily have a drink of your finest scotch at XMAS time but won’t fight the church.

    AA out

  5. Fresh Princess

    Maybe you should show your face and tell them Jesus started gambling with a dreidel

  6. DanM

    My grandmother’s church organizes trips to the Oklahoma casinos. Surely St. Jude’s can’t be the only one.

  7. Willie

    There seems to be some umpteen bazillion gamblings bills getting presented during this session and it wouldn’t surprise me if one or two of them make it out of the House to the Senate. If they make it out of the Senate, though, I guarantee you Rick “I want to be your extreme right-winger’s VP” will shoot it down quicker than Dick Cheney in a field full of lawyers, I mean quail.

  8. DanM

    Willie, care to make a wager on the conditional situation you espouse? I’m not saying there aren’t forces in play that couldn’t derail the Texas Poker Act (which incidentally, is the last bill standing of all the gambling-related legislation) … but I will put some significant bucks on the line saying that if it gets to Perry’s desk he will not veto it.

    But hey, keep up the negative thinking! It’s what makes it so easy for your opponents to bet out and take pots away from you, even when the flop totally misses. And I suspect the doomsday prophesies also make you feel better about not doing your part and contacting your representative. Because let’s be real … you haven’t, have you?

  9. DanM

    And on a strategic note:

    Phase 1 was making sure poker was included in all gambling-law discussions. We succeeded at that.

    Now that the casino and VLT bills are dead, we are in Phase 2 … which is to differentiate poker from more traditional forms of gambling (such as blackjack, craps, roulette, etc. where the house only makes money when players lose). So with that in mind, you will probably see Pokerati — at least for a little while — refrain from lumping the Texas Poker Act in with “other gambling bills.”

  10. DanM

    ***Jesus started gambling with a dreidel***

    And Michele, I’m not so sure we really want to be bringing Jesus into this. Just sayin’ …

    Of course, considering the fact that churches stand to benefit from the charity component of the Texas Poker Act, I could be wrong.

  11. Jimmy

    No worries on the Catholics as far as poker is concerned. I had a drink and a smoke with my church’s priest 2 months ago at a local bar. He told me his bad beat stories as well. No lie.

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    […] Press release from Rep. Menendez’s office. […]

  13. Mary

    I did my part! I emailed and called my rep!

  14. Anonymous Asshole

    900k catholics in DFW, according to news sources covering the new bishops ceremony about a week ago. If only we could get them all (heck, 10%) to sign up for the PPA and ask their representative. Catholics are a small fraction of Baptists in this part of the country though 🙂

    AA out

    P.S. Catholics have nothing against a stiff drink and gambling. I think it is the European ancestry 🙂 Irish catholic anyone? LOL