Texas poker lobbyists push for legalization of poker

Texas Poker PAC, a newly formed pro-poker lobbying group in Texas, is seeking legislation to legalize poker and establish a set of overarching rules to harness the underground movement of games that has mushroomed across the state in recent years.

Founded by a team of poker-playing political professionals, lawyers, and media experts, the Texas Poker PAC believes the laws governing poker in Texas to be outdated, overly restrictive, unclear, and inconsistently enforced.

The organization is set to begin its push for poker's legalization next month during a special legislative session dealing with finance laws.

If no action is approved during the April session, the Texas Poker PAC plans to re-launch its campaign during the state's 140-day regular session beginning in January 2007.

The organization's founders and members believe the legalization of poker will bring much needed revenue to the southern state, which can use the money to help provide healthcare to children and fund public schools in the form of increased salaries for teachers and per-student spending, among other things.

The Texas Poker PAC says the state could raise as much as $500 million in annual poker revenue.

Currently, Texas law prohibits commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants from hosting poker games where players wager money for the chance to win a prize, while these same establishments are permitted to host poker games without buy-ins but with prizes.

Casino gambling is also prohibited in Texas.

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