Virginia Senator Pokes Archaic Laws Again w/ New Poker Bill

louiselucas
Sen. Louise Lucas (Photo: Virginian Pilot)

Will this be the year Virginia Senator Louise Lucas finally gets a bill to legalize poker through state legislature?

This is not even talking about online poker regulation - this is simply declaring the game of poker a skill game and making it legal in Virginia to hold an actual live poker tournament.

For the third year running Lucas has filed a bill to legalize poker in the state and this time around it's called SB1400.

Her objective: define illegal gambling and charitable gaming, authorize real-money poker games and put regulations in place so, at long last, Virginians can play a simple game of poker.

Way Behind DFS Legislation

Despite no form of poker being legal in the State, Virginia was surprisingly one of 8 states to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports last year.

virginia
Get with the times, Va.

DFS proponents successfully convinced the Senate that Daily Fantasy was a game of skill and the bill was passed 28-10.

Lucas is hoping the same argument will hold true for poker and a similar vote will prevail. She's been unsuccessful with similar bills over the past two years. 

The principal premise of SB1400 is that "Poker games shall be deemed games of skill" and "nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to make any such game illegal gambling."

Organizers will be allowed to offer one poker tournament per week, cash only (no electronic fund transfer), with a maximum pot of $100. Players must be 18 and over and notices must be posted showing players how they can contact Gamblers Anonymous.

If successful it could be the first step to opening the door to legalized online poker but as we've seen in Pennsylvania, New York and California, even in pro-poker states it's difficult to get a bill passed.

Read the full scope of SB1400 right here.

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