Will Texas Hold ‘em?

March 15, 2013

In spite of Texas Hold ‘em being one of the world’s most popular games, this popularity cannot be said to apply in the like-named state of Texas. The Lone Star State has garnered notoriety for its exclusion of poker within its boundaries. In light of recent events though, it may soon change its stand against online poker.

Senator Leticia Van de Putte introduced State Bill No. 1103 alongside State of Texas Ballot Measure SJR No. 43, both offering an amendment in the constitution that allows online poker gaming on condition that the federal government regulates it. This joint resolution essentially proposes a constitutional amendment that will mandate federal regulation of online poker, as well as provisions for a constitutional amendment at the state level that would see Texas opt-in following the enactment of a federal licensing program for online poker facilities. It requires the approval of both the House and Senate before its presentation to the president.

The measure additionally lets any state to implement the federal law if and when it is made available. In the occasion that the federal law fails to be passed, the joint resolution has a provision that mandates Texas to provide online poker through a lottery system run by the state agency. This may occur if the voters approve the suggested measure in a free election set for November 5, 2013.

Although many consider the proposed online poker legislation, already a reality in New Jersey, a long shot, it has revealed that this is a matter being weighed in the minds of Texas lawmakers.

Apart from Senator Putte’s bills, there are also House Bill No. 292 and House Bill No. 2098 pending in action. House Bill No. 292 has been stagnant since last December when it was introduced, and it proposes “regulated poker gaming” only through legit gambling establishments.

On the other hand, Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) filed House Bill No. 2098 on February 28, seeking to have “social poker gaming” legalized. Were it to go through, certain licensed facilities would be allowed to offer the game to “registered players” without collecting rake, but still profit. The profits would be acquired through food sales and membership fees.

Whether these measures will sail through or not remains a mystery until the November 5 election. Meanwhile, you can make Texas your latest addition to the list of states seeking to embrace online poker. The 26 million population of the Lone Star State gives it a massive potential for a revenue source through online poker.


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