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Texas House Approves Rep. Jose Menendezs Poker Tournament Regulation Proposal

On April 3rd, 2009, although there is still a long way to go before the state of Texas licenses and regulates the game of poker, poker enthusiasts in what is considered the Lone Star State got some encouraging news when Texas State Representative Jose Menendez's poker bill to accomplish just that was approved by a six-three vote before the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee.

A late addition to Rep. Jose Menendez's bill would grant the chance to strictly regulate the game of poker to individual communities, as compared to an all-encompassing state regulation. But the Texas House of Representatives must still decide on and approve this bill, giving those communities that opportunity. Poker Players Alliance (PPA) Texas State Director Mike Lavigne applauded the committee's decision, stating that the majority of communities in the state of Texas will hold successful elections permitting the game of Texas Holdem at specific locations.

If the Texas Legislatures approves this proposal, cities will be able to apply for gaming licenses to offer poker games through the Texas Lottery Commission. Mike Lavigne said that this is a good way to permit local community control over what will surely become an economic development issue. Home poker games are currently allowed in the state of Texas as long as they do not receive a rake or benefit the gaming facility or the poker dealer in any way. But a growing underground poker scene has forced state legislators to address the situation.

This is not the first time that Representative Jose Menendez, a Democrat from San Antonio, has lobbied for the licensing and regulation of the game of poker. He first proposed a poker regulation bill in 2007 but the proposal died before ever making it to a committee vote.


04/28/2009, Tuesday
Matthew Dorst

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