Texas Poker Bill Update

With easy-email help from a Pokeratizen

by , Apr 3, 2009 | 9:08 am

I got forwarded a response to a constituent from Rep. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) regarding what comes next for poker legislation in Texas, and I thought I’d share it with the rest of you, as we all continue to learn a thing or two about how the political process works:

Last session the Poker I filed got as far as any had before in Texas this one is ahead of where we were last session so the odds are a little better at this time. That having been said the Leg. Is made up of 150 Reps. and 31 Senators and if I can convince a majority of them to pass the bill I still have to have the bill written so that the Gov. won’t veto it. What I’m trying to say is that we are a long way from home and we may have to make changes to the bill just to get us to have a safe and legal place to play.

Thanks for writing me but importantly write your Rep., Senator and the Gov. Letting them know that you support this and maybe even the full Resort Casino bill that I filed as well.
Jose Menendez
Thank You,
Jose Menendez
Please excuse typos sent from Blackberry

So there we have it. I’ll be honest with you … when it comes to financing the efforts to get these bills through, poker isn’t very well funded. So that means we’re left fighting the fight about as grass-roots as it gets. (The good side is that we will be less encumbered by outside interests when it comes to whipping the language into shape.) To help out the grass-roots effort, Jeff (in Austin?) has updated his website to make it easier for you to reach out and speak to your representatives about why fully legal poker in Texas matters to you, and why it should matter to them.

Here’s the new helper website for your responsible citizen efforts. Be sure to bookmark it, as we will need to tap into this resource over the coming month-and-a-halfish.

4 Comments to “Texas Poker Bill Update”

  1. Ken

    Thanks fellas..

  2. Tim B.

    i sent one yesterday to my reps… however, i wrote my own message, because i consider the canned message that is provided to be a prime example of political jibberjabber at best, and playing into the opponents of the bill at worst.

    the canned message:
    I am a Texas poker player and voter. Please support HB 222, The Texas Poker Act by Jose Menendez. This legislation will bring great economic benefit to the state of Texas, as well as make poker safe and regulated in Texas. Please help bring Texas Hold’em back home to Texas.

    it is disingenuous to make statements like “make poker safe … in texas” and “bring texas holdem back home to texas.” as everyone well knows (particularly the opponents to the bill) poker is ALREADY safe and legal in texas, and statements to the contrary provide an excellent rhetorical target for them. further, statements to the effect that texas holdem isnt played in texas are both laughably false and content-free. the canned message makes us sound like we either 1) dont understand the issues ourselves, or 2) are willfully misrepresenting the issues and so disrespect our representative’s intelligence that we expect them to fall for it.

    the purpose of the bill is to allow STATE REGULATED, PROFESSIONALLY OPERATED poker games, for the profit of both the operator and the state. period. any communication to the powers that be should speak cogently to that purpose. theres no shortage of arguements that support that purpose, so theres no reason to resort to misdirection or emotionally loaded rhetoric.

    i encourage anyone using the site to read and understand the bill(http://www.legis.state.tx.us/billlookup/text.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB222), then craft their own message in their own words rather than use the canned message.

  3. DanM

    i agree that a personal message is best, but i have to disagree with you about safety. what, does one person shot and killed in an apartment game not count? does an armed robbery at a birthday tourney at a private home in cedar hill not count?

    this bill will provide safe places to play and stricter penalties for operators who still want to keep it all underground.

  4. Tim B.

    no, and no. interpersonal disputes and shooting happen all the time over any number of things. id be willing to bet more people were shot over disputes involving barking dogs than were shot by participants in a home game. and do you really believe that armed invasion robberies carried out by determined and prepared criminals are any less likely to occur because the game is hosted in bar instead of a house? id say not. criminals go where the money is. id also contend that there are WAY MORE armed robberies in bars than of home poker games, so by moving games into bars we might conceivably be making poker MORE dangerous.

    playing poker in your home (or someone elses) is no more or less safe than hosting/attending a superbowl party. last i checked, there was no hue and cry for legislation regulating superbowl parties.

    this is not (and should not be) about safety, and trying to make it so is a cheap emotional dodge. not that that isnt business-as-usual in the political arena, but that doesnt mean im going to support it or use it myself.