Texas Poker Card Room Wins Big, Can Reopen Doors

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on March 24, 2022
After Appeal Win For Texas Poker Room, It's Reopening Their Doors After Forceful Close

A Texas poker room is back in business.

Two months ago, Texas Card House Dallas had its certificate of occupancy revoked, forcing the card room to close.

On Tuesday, the Board of Adjustment (BOA) met to discuss the legality of poker within city limits. After a brief discussion, board members voted 5-0 to allow the Texas card room to continue operating. 

Big win for Texas poker

During the meeting, board member Kathleen Frankford went as far as to accuse some lawmakers of being politically motivated to shut down the poker room. 

“I’m pretty disappointed in this process. It seemed like the opinion was changed either by political reasons or possibly public backlash.”

Frankford, the Executive Director at the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus, continued:

“It seems pretty clear to me that the business is doing what they set out to do.”

Looking at the legality of poker in Texas

In February, Ryan Crow, CEO of Texas Card House, said he spent nearly two years searching for a location the city would approve. 

Frankford said the city never made a “good case” to revoke the poker room permit. 

“There was no persuasive argument that new information came to light. I feel that they had the information. They made the decision that the business was abiding by all the rules of the state law. Again, I think it was political pressure and that’s extremely disappointing.”

According to Chapter 47.04 of the Texas Penal code:

“It is a defense to prosecution” if “the actor engaged in gambling in a private place [which includes a club]; no person received any economic benefit other than personal winnings; [and] except for the advantage of skill or luck, the risks of losing and the chances of winning were the same for all.”

Other Texas poker rooms like Top Shelf Poker Room in Flint, Texas, have faced similar challenges from city lawmakers. Earlier this month, Top Shelf was subject to a police raid on accusations of illegal gambling. 

Photo by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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