Dallas Poker Room Faces Possible Eviction

Written By Derek Helling on November 3, 2022
Texas law dallas poker room gambling

A popular Dallas poker room might have to cease operations, at least within city limits. The final determination is probably months away, however. If the Texas Card House ultimately does fold, though, the situation could have sweeping ramifications for gambling in Texas.

The city of Dallas has deployed a legal device to limit gambling of questionable legality and a Texas judge has approved the use of that device. The state’s highest court may yet weigh in and if it agrees, other Texas cities might follow Dallas’ lead.

Dallas poker room appeals unfavorable ruling

The dispute between Dallas and Texas Card House has been broiling for most of 2022. In February, the city revoked the card room’s occupancy certificate. At issue is the legality of the gambling happening therein.

Texas law allows for poker games for real money as long as they meet three criteria. One of those criteria is that the games take place in a private place.

The city’s attorney argued Texas Card House does not fit the definition of a private place and ordered the card room to vacate the building.

While the attorney hasn’t prosecuted anyone for any violations, the revocation of the occupancy certificate threatens the business. That’s why Texas Card House filed suit, arguing the city’s Building Official had no authority to revoke the certificate.

According to Matt Goodman of D Magazine, District Court Judge Eric Moye found in the city’s favor in the trial. Goodman adds that Texas Card House plans to appeal until it gets a favorable ruling or runs out of appeals to file.

During the appeals, the card room can continue to operate.

If the Texas Supreme Court issues a ruling on this matter, that decision will be noteworthy for more than just the Texas Card House in Dallas

How appeals by Texas Card House could pose trouble for other card rooms

The Texas Supreme Court’s decision on the definition of a private place for poker games might affect card rooms across the state. Most Texas cities have allowed this gambling to go on because of the precarity of challenging it.

A favorable ruling for Dallas from the Supreme Court would give those cities an ironclad legal tactic to employ. Card rooms would have to either significantly alter their business models or shut down altogether if other cities press the issue.

It’s uncertain how many cities would press the issue right now. The issue of greater importance is how the Supreme Court will rule. It seems the Texas Card House is all in on putting its fate before the court.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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