On April 8, 2007, poker enthusiasts who want to play Texas Hold'em poker in the lone star state itself may not be looking for the best option, but they are still going all in. A proposed bill is currently in the House which aims for Texas to regulate poker rooms so that customers can play for money. However, religious organizations and critics of gaming in the state said that they will block any move to expand gambling in Texas.
Rep. Kino Flores, a Democrat from Plainview and the Chairman of the House Licensing and Administrative Committee has played his aces close to his sleeve, telling a lot of people that he has second thoughts about the bill, mainly because he does not want any rival to his own gambling bill, which aims to permit slot machines in the state, yet entertain poker enthusiasts.
A bill sponsored by Rep. Jose Menendez, a Democrat from San Antonio, aims to allow the state regulated poker rooms so that players can play poker for money. Some of the money earned from the games will go to housing projects for the veterans and other underprivileged people.
Businesses which offer sexual services will not be allowed to have a poker room. Rep. Menendez said that he will add a clause to the bill, prohibiting free alcoholic beverage from being served in the poker rooms. Some of the people that have testified at the House Committee last week are some of the big names in the World of Poker.
There are about 2 million Texans that play poker in their homes with friends, which are considered legal and not allowed in poker rooms. But it still is not enough for about 250 illegal poker rooms to thrive in Dallas. One of the people that testified at the hearing is Clonie Gowen.
Gowen, a mother of 2 that plays professionally on a Full Tilt Poker Team, says that poker helped her mental and mathematical skills at a very early age. Just last year, she was able to earn about $500,000. If given the choice, she would not want to leave Texas just to play poker.
Her teammate, Erick Lindgren from Las Vegas and one of the most famous poker players in the World Poker Tour, said that playing poker helped him develop social skills and even patience. Lindgren earns about $1 million a year for playing on the pro circuit.
April 17, 2007