How to Defeat a Ready-to-Pass Bill: Lie

What we’re really up against

by , May 9, 2009 | 6:18 pm

I swear this won’t tilt anybody … but here’s the alert sent out Thursday by Texans Against Gambling to generate enough support for a change of course that, frankly, I still don’t fully understand.

Via the fair-minded, conservative Off the Kuff

TAG lies have been boldfaced:

Statement from Texans Against Gambling:
Weston Ware, legislative director for Texans Against Gambling, issued this statement today regarding House Bill 222, which legalizes poker, including electronic poker, in Texas. The bill was voted out of Calendars Committee on Thursday and will be scheduled for a floor vote.

“This bill is not about legalizing poker games with friends around the kitchen table. It is a ploy by the pro-gambling industry to crack Texas’ constitutional ban against gambling by making the absurd argument that poker is not a game of chance, but of skill.

“The next time someone uses their skill as a player to get dealt three-of-a-kind, call me.

“HB 222, among other things, would allow electronic poker tables to operate 24/7 in bars and restaurants. These Class III gambling devices mimic the addictive qualities of slot machines based on the speed of play (a good player can go through as many as 12 hands a minute).They have the ability to keep players playing (many video-poker outlets are open 24 hours and it’s not unusual to hear of someone’s playing 36 hours straight). Also, the machines are designed to create the false perception that skill is involved in what is ultimately a game of chance.

“HB 222 flirts recklessly with federal law that says very clearly that if Texas legalizes any type of Class III gambling, the three federally-recognized Indian tribes in Texas may move full tilt into casino gambling Federally recognized tribes from Oklahoma and other states also are poised to leverage “historical properties” in Texas if House Bill 222 passes and Class III games are authorized.

“HB 222 does not limit the amount of the wagers for any poker game. It can be a million dollars, or more. The collections for the state of Texas in this bill, however, are limited to only 18% of a $4 charge per game; only 90 cents per player even if the wagers are a million dollars. By contrast, the Lottery of Texas yields 28 cents for EVERY DOLLAR Wagered: a million dollars wagered in the Lottery would yield $280,000 for Texas. Four players wagering a million dollars in poker game in HB 222 would yield $3.60 for the state of Texas.

“As it is written, HB 222 claims Indian casinos offering poker can be taxed. The Department of the Interior has generally prohibited such taxation. Therefore, Texas would not have the ability to either tax or regulate these gambling enterprises. Do we really want such untouchable cash-based businesses operating alongside drug cartels on our borders?

“HB 222 is a pay-back to the gambling lobby for $7.6 million in donations in 2008. But it’s a stab in the back to Texas citizens who look to their elected representatives for sound decisions about Texas future. Lawmakers should vote no on HB 222.”

TAG is a non-partisan coalition of public policy, political, religious and law enforcement groups that oppose the expansion of predatory gambling in Texas. For more information, go to

Mr. Weston Ware … though previously I didn’t want you to know what we had going on at Pokerati, I hope you do see this post … because I’ll be honest dude — I wanna punch you in the fuckin’ face! I’d really like to sit down with you and have a talk.

I’m really curious if you were aware of how many mistruths are in your statement — because either you were flat-out consciously lying — or you were not … in which case, when someone can show you irrefutable proof that your alert has some mistakes in it, it should be no problem for you to correct the record and let your followers know that, oops, turns out this bill would not put poker in bars and restaurants — this was a compromise the poker side worked out with your people … did you not get the memo? — and that the Class III gaming machines argument doesn’t really hold water because, you know, if the Heads-Up Pro is a Class III gaming device, then so is Golden Tee.

You also have a mistaken understanding of how the rake works … That’s a little more understandable, because it can be confusing if you don’t play. I’d be happy to clarify.

I’ll save the rest for our phone call … you want me to call you right, about that three-of-a-kind thing? I tried to a phone number for your organization on your website, but couldn’t … so I sent you my info. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

8 Comments to “How to Defeat a Ready-to-Pass Bill: Lie ”

  1. Patrick the Longtime Lurker

    Per Google:

    Weston Ware (972)709-7756 1503 Shields Ave, Cedar Hill, TX 75104

    Take him up on his offer. Please.

    And make sure you get audio of this phone call. We’ve GOT to hear this numbnut talk his way out of his lies.

  2. DanM

    thanks for your research, PLL. because you’re semi-new around here, i may have to do it just for you …

  3. Doyle

    Well, isn’t religion a game of chance?? By going to church are you not placing a bet in the corner that there is a God? And by not going you place your bet in the other corner? As of right now, I’d say the odds for each is 50/50… Though I’d bet there is less of a chance that there’s a man floating on clouds shouting down from sky… And by all means, he loves Notre Dame and each NASCAR driver that wins a race.

  4. DanM

    Doyle, I’m not gonna make too many comments on your interesting philosophical point … I fear my knowledge might come off as limited as someone fighting against poker without giving it more than the 15 minutes it takes to understand the game. But really, I think you might be touching on a valid point as to why the religious right is so against poker … if you start attaching mathematical odds to what was previously left to faith (c’mon river card!) … well we might just be encroaching on their monopoly.

  5. pinkerton

    “(a good player can go through as many as 12 hands a minute)”

    It sounds like he’s got electronic poker tables confused with video poker. Unless everyone’s paying attention and nobody plans on seeing a flop.

    It’s hard not to balk at some of his ‘math’ here, but I’m pretty sure most people on here have made it through grade school so I’ll let you do your own breakdowns :P.

    I just wish politics was about debates and issues. People just read the title of a bill, get a Cliff’s Notes on what it’s about and proceed to put whatever spin they’re angling for on it. I’m fairly apolitical myself, mostly because I feel the media hypes everything and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    There are definitely arguments they could use that have better examples, just as there are arguments for our side. The middle ground is that there IS an element of chance, but that overall, that three-of-a-kind that we get dealt by chance does not dictate how much money we win or lose in the hand. Our decisions and the decisions of people around us dictate the hand.

    As far as games, sports, or even life decisions that don’t have an element of chance in them, I can’t think of any that are fun :P…

  6. Phil

    If these guys really think poker is a game of luck, we should try to get 5 or so of them to sit down at a table with some real poker players.

  7. Me

    Weston Ware has made a career out of opposing gambling in Texas and nationwide. He helped defeat a state lottery initiative in the 80s. He rallied against it in the 90s. He’s opposed every piece of pro-gambling Texas legislation without exception. He’s a hired gun of the Baptist General Convention/Christian Life/etc. Guy’s a consummate operator. Rabble-rouser. Check out his ZoomInfo profile (scroll down for links to quotes).

  8. DanM

    I really would love to have a civil conversation with the dude, about all sorts of things. He’s a phD, so he can’t be an idiot … but is he capable of having an intelligent dialogue?