Poker Wars Report: Texas Frontlines

by , May 7, 2009 | 9:43 am

This is the week … that’s what I’ve hearing from people in Austin and DC regarding legalized racetrack (and Indian Casino) poker in Texas. All seem to be staying on message, too, because that’s the same thing they were saying last week.

But HB 222 isn’t just suffocating at the bottom of the Calendars Committee inbox, supposedly … on the contrary, there’s all sorts of crazy buzzing about. “Chatter” has intensified but gone more private … not much Twittering, just lots of fights and diplomacy on secure Blackberry lines. What I’m picking up via short-wave radio:

It has something to do with the Big Casino bill (also sponsored by Rep. Menendez), which is sitting in the same inbox waiting to be kicked to either the House floor or curb; Gov. Perry (anti-gambling) vs. Spkr. Straus (pro-gambling) drawing either swords or lots, not sure which; talk of a special session, or Secession; month of November comes into play; PPA ready to deploy troops, ammo … time is or is not of essence; something about big games …

One Comment to “Poker Wars Report: Texas Frontlines”

  1. Mojo

    Yeah, there’s going to have to work out some compromise. I don’t see Perry signing TWO gambling bills in the same session unless the state is about to go broke. Also, they’re going to have to address the issue of rakes in big games, since right now the language has a 10%/$4 cap, which is not going to work for anything beyond $5 blinds (at least that’s what the operators are going to say).

    I just finished reading the whole thing (ugh). The language still needs cleaning in places. Example: “operators” are limited to four tables per premise, but while the intent is clearly aimed at non-track games, the language seems to apply to ALL games; the tracks won’t want to fool with small rooms. Also, no free booze at any table, but it doesn’t specify what “isn’t” free: can a bar offer 10¢ well drinks at the table (effectively free?)

    Is there any feeling on the Senate’s mood at this point?