Poker legislation has been on the agendas of many individual state bodies of government as well as in Washington, D. C. Recently, two states voted down attempts to pass legislation that would have legalized poker in their respective areas.
Earlier this week, two different bills that would have legalized friendly poker games and charitable raffles were rejected by the South Carolina legislature. The bills, which had recently received approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee, were contested on the floor of the South Carolina chambers during the end of the legislative session which ended on Thursday and now cannot be brought up again until 2010.
One of the bills, which was supported and submitted by Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell of Charleston, would have changed the state’s gambling laws by allowing poker in homes among friends as long as the homeowner didn’t profit by charging people a fee to play. The law that will stay in effect for now is nearly 200 years old and does not allow for games that involve cards and dice, calling them “games of chance.“ The other bill looked to change the state’s constitution so charitable organizations could offer raffles. The constitution states that raffles are illegal lotteries and, with the rejection of the bill, charities can only offer bingo nights.
Earlier this month in Texas, the birthplace of Texas Hold’em, Representative Jose Menendez of San Antonio pulled off the calendar a bill that would have legalized poker in the Lone Star State. Citing objections from Texas Governor Rick Perry and his threat of a veto if the bill came before him, Menendez chose to remove the bill from consideration prior to the end of the Texas General Assembly’s calendar.
The bill, called HB 222, was approved in committee in April by a 6-3 vote of its members. The bill would have clarified poker as a game of skill under Texas state law and would have put poker rooms – using electronic tables, in most cases – in many of the horse racing facilities that Texas operates, as well as allow Indian tribes to have their own poker rooms. Taxation earned from poker would have been used to help many social programs, including issues with the homeless in Texas.
Menendez pulled the bill after its passage from committee due to Governor Perry’s threat and the realization that he could not pull enough votes together to overturn a veto. Menendez figured that HB 222 needed 100 votes of the 150 members of the General Assembly to overturn the threatened veto and, without that, the bill would be dead. He chose to remove the bill in an attempt to win approval at a later date. Those who stood on the other side of the aisle in the poker battle included the Baptist General Convention’s Christian Life Commission, which questioned if there was a positive side to the passage of the legislation.

Tight Poker Staff

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For nearly two decades, we’ve provided the best in class for poker site reviews, top online poker bonuses, strategy tips, poker news, and exclusive free poker content.  Consisting of a team of poker and gambling experts, we deliver the best online poker brand experience for players of all levels, from the fish to the sharks.