Do You Want Fully Legal Poker in Texas? (Yes.)

Then the action’s on us …

by , Jan 19, 2009 | 1:31 pm

A new political season/era is about to kick off. The PPA seems to have things moving in the right direction on the federal/online front and are kinda busy in Kentucky. So Pokerati is taking it upon itself to move things forward in our beloved homeland of Texas, where we have a very real chance of finally legitimizing Texas Hold’em.

Right now, it’s time to build up the pot …

In 2007 (the Texas Lege meets bi-annually), we sent hundreds of emails, and they had a great impact. So this year, as the 81st Texas Legislative Session gets underway, we want to start early making sure the poker playing minority are indeed a priority … or at least on the VIP guest list as all the other important stuff (health care, education, jobs, etc.) gets bumpin’.

The Texas House has a new Speaker, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), and by all accounts, he may be more open minded about the game we love than his predecessor. Meanwhile, Rep. Jose Mendendez (D-San Antonio) has filed HB 222, which is essentially the same poker bill as last time (one that engaged readers like you had a say in crafting) … a lot of the right pieces are in place. We have more information than last time and generally more favorable table conditions. It’s on us, though, literally, because like who else is gonna do it, to kick it all in to gear. That’s how things work in politics — or so I’ve begun to see.

What you can do, at this stage, is simply send emails as a concerned, patriotic Texas citizen. Even if you’re not from the great state that hates little more than losing to Oklahoma, it would help your friends here to let a few important people know how much you would love coming here with fully legal poker as an option. We need to show the people in Austin that we are driven to this call to action not just by our Texas-size love of poker and personal freedoms, but also because we strongly believe this is a matter of sensible government — recognizing that this bill brings jobs, security, tax benefits, and other goodness to each and all of us.

Cool? You down? Then be sure to spend a few minutes of click-time today or tomorrow to mail new Speaker Straus, Rep. Menendez, and the PPA too. Let them know this issue is important to you. And though I may regret this request, feel free to CC me if you’re so inclined, as I’d like to take a pulse on what really matters to poker-loving Texans and Texas-loving pokerers.

The email addresses to hit:

Your emails really do make a difference, especially when part of a coordinated effort. At least that’s what I’ve come to believe … and hey, I’m practically a political sophomore now! I’ll have some talking points up later. Regular readers pretty much know them already — I know I trust you all to make the case. In the meantime, seriously, let’s do this. It’s like top-pair-top-kicker with the nut-flush draw and a gutshot — booh-yah! — and from early position the best move we could make is to lead out.

7 Comments to “Do You Want Fully Legal Poker in Texas? (Yes.) ”

  1. Bryan

    what else can I do I live in the Austin area?

  2. DanM

    Bryan, for now, just start some buzz amongst your poker-playing brethren. The more connected said friends are the better. Especially if they happen to be spammers media types or someone with a lot of MySpace friends.

    Right now we need poker players sending emails. The next step is getting non-poker players on board.

  3. Paul Cannon


    Great article. The time to act is now. Our legislators need to know this is what the people want and they need to act early in the legislative session. Rick Perry is notorious for vetoing late-passed bills he personally doesn’t like after the time to override his veto has expired.

  4. andrea medina

    we need ganbling here in texas to help with jobs ,schools,Galvastion so that we keep are money here. and if you dont like gambling then just stay home plain and simple .we go to other states and gamble why not stay here and keep are money here.If you dont pass the gambling bill will just go to other states and spend are money there you cant stop people from gambling .So why not join them and keep are money here to help Texas be a bigger and better place to come and have fun and help with are jobs and schools that we so baddly need and to bring back Galvastion

  5. RobertM

    As a long time hold-em player, what exactly does HB222 state about who can run one of these businesses? I remember the LOTTO days that required you already had a business in place to be accepted. I am VERY rural Texas, and would love the possibility of opening up a poker ‘room’ close to the highway. Where can I get a copy of the HB so I can read up on what requirements will be necessary to open a legal establishment when it becomes possible?


  6. DanM

    If I recall correctly, RobertM, it doesn’t state anything about that yet … other than that the Texas Lottery Commission would be charged with setting up these rules.

    You can follow the bill as it progresses here:

    And to give you a sense of the process we’ve got to go through, you can see how far we made it last time here:

  7. billie holmes

    we need casinos in texas i live 30 min.from durant oklahoma and you should see the texas cars from texas including me so get casinos in texas start to get some money back in texas