While the game that’s popular all across the world may have actually started in the state of Texas, club poker continues to face a great amount of scrutiny, even today.

According to the Texas Penal Code, there are three specific parameters that can exempt an activity from being classified as legal gambling. Those parameters are as follows:

  • Everything is happening in a private place
  • Aside form personal winnings, no one receives any type of economic benefit
  • Aside from either luck or skill, all participants have the exact same chances of winning or losing

Despite these parameters, especially the final one, many people feel that club poker games operating rake-free actually meet the aforementioned criteria. However, there are clubs that have actually been both opening and closing along the coastal bend of the state as law enforcement and local politicians continue to be lobbied by them.

While some clubs are operating openly and advertising various events via social media, two clubs in Kingsville experienced a very different situation, as they both closed not long after opening following scrutiny from law enforcement towards the founders. One of the founders apparently invested approximately $70,000 into the clubs, and while one has since reopened and has decided to do away with door fees, the other currently remains closed.

It appears that the only real solution would have to come from the state; however, former governor Rick Perry made a vow to veto any expansion involving gambling after a bill received a push back in 2009, only to die not long after. Current governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, stated back in 2015 that he wholeheartedly supported how the law currently defines gambling and further stated that legislators shouldn’t go any further down that particular path.

According to reports, any type of poker-friendly clarification to the law is not expected to be discussed until 2019 at the earliest.

Thank you for visiting Gabriella Young’s blog. I am an Austin criminal defense lawyer. I write about local laws, events and news to keep Austinites informed.