I know this is a little old but I love poker and figured others do too and might not know about this.
Texas Poker Would Generate $155 Million a Year
Wednesday Apr 11, 2007
But the Bill Is Still Stuck in Committee Despite Large Number of Supporters
More than 60 people came out to support a bill in Texas that would make it legal to play poker in certain bars there, but despite the support, the bill still remains in the Texas House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee.
That might change when committee members see the amount that the state’s comptroller’s office estimates will be generated by taxing poker in Texas.
According to an employee in Rep. Jose Menendez’s office, who is the bill’s sponsor, the comptroller estimates that $35 million would be generated in the first year. By 2012, more than $155 million annually would be generated by poker in Texas, an estimate that Menendez’s office thinks is a little low.
The bill would allow poker to be spread in licensed public establishments, would regulate the game to ensure public safety and fairness, and would officially recognize poker as a game of skill in Texas.
The bill would allow places that have liquor licenses to apply for a license to hold live poker games. Not all watering holes would be eligible. Only places that pull in a significant amount of money per month would be able to apply. Temporary “charity” licenses would also be made available.
Bars would be limited to four poker tables while the pari-mutuels would be allowed to have more, but that number has not yet been chosen.
The public hearing for the bill took place in early April. Erick Lindgren and Clonie Gowen and 64 other Texans told the committee why the bill should move on. Only two people spoke in opposition of it.
Menendez’s office has received hundreds of phone calls and emails from people supporting the bill, while only a handful of Texans expressed their concern with it.
If the bill makes it through committee — even Menendez’s office is unsure if it will — it will be voted on by the politicians. There’s no timeline on when people will be able to play public poker legally in Texas if it passes.
Ironically, if the bill fails, Texas’s 11 race tracks might be to blame. The tracks are trying to convince lawmakers that video slots should be available at the tracks, and lobbyists representing the tracks are both trying to get this attached to the bill and are also pushing for a poker bill that would allow the game to be spread only in their establishments. This doesn’t make any sense to Menendez, even though one of the tracks is in his district.
Since Texas is so big, a majority of people would be able to play poker only at the race tracks. Menendez, who is a poker player himself, believes that people should be able to play poker legally in their home towns. Unless they lived in one of the 11 cities where a track is located, they wouldn’t be able to do that.
"Duncan exhibited at least three facial expressions, a career high."
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