Dallas Poker Rooms Can’t be Shut Down – Yet, Judge Rules

Nathan Bennett
Nathan Bennett
4 Min Read

A choose in Dallas has dominated that metropolis officers can’t shutter a preferred poker site till a dispute over the legality of its operations is absolutely resolved within the courts.

Texas Card House
The Texas Card Home in Dallas, above, stays open for now. However its future is unsure and can doubtless be determined by the Texas Supreme Courtroom. (Picture: Spectrum Information 1)

Dallas County District Decide Eric Moye decided final month that the town was justified in revoking the Texas Card Home’s allow and agreed the enterprise violated Texas playing legal guidelines.

However he stated Monday that the town couldn’t drive the membership to shut or in any other case intervene with its operations till that call is upheld on enchantment. The matter is anticipated to go all the best way to the Texas Supreme Courtroom, which might take years.

The Texas Card Home is one in every of three poker rooms presently working in Dallas. The town needs to shut all of them.

Protection from Prosecution

The venues argue they’re personal golf equipment and subsequently exempt from prosecution below the Texas Penal Code.

The code states: “It’s a protection to prosecution [for gambling]” if “the actor engaged in playing [is] in a personal place; no individual acquired any financial profit apart from private winnings; [and] aside from the benefit of ability or luck, the dangers of dropping and the probabilities of profitable had been the identical for all.”

The venues argue they don’t revenue from playing as a result of they don’t take a rake from the pot, as a on line casino would. As a substitute, they cost clients by the hour to be at current the membership.

Critics say the carveout was meant to be for personal video games in personal residences and never business enterprises.

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Invoice Would Legalize Industrial Poker

In the meantime, State Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston) is searching for a legislative answer to the issue. A invoice he launched final week would amend the time period “personal place” to “personal residence.” However the lawmaker advised The Dallas Observer this week that a part of the invoice was omitted as a result of a “submitting error.”

Wu says the total textual content would permit business poker golf equipment to remain open supplied they had been licensed and controlled by the counties through which they had been positioned.

The place this would depart the Texas Card Home and different Dallas poker rooms in unclear, however it might primarily legalize business poker rooms in Texas, supplied native officers had been OK with it.

Frustratingly for the Texas Card Home, native officers had been initially OK with it, proper as much as the purpose the place they abruptly weren’t.

The membership’s proprietor, Ryan Crow, entered a lease settlement in December 2019 and acquired city-issued certification in October 2020. In January 2022, he abruptly acquired discover that he was “maintaining a playing place” and must shut. The membership’s allow was revoked simply 15 months after it had been accepted.

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