Texas Moves toward Online Poker Legalisation

As other US states move toward the implementation of intrastate laws passed recently, Texas legislators could be soon debating online poker with Republican state Senator Leticia R. Van de Putte having introduced Senate Joint Resolution 43 and Senate Bill 1103.

House Bill 3529, which was introduced this week by fellow Republican, Representative John Kuempel and relates to "....regulation of certain online poker facilities under federal law," supports Van de Putte's first measure, which seeks to amend the Texas state constitution in order to bring the state, notorious for its conservative attitude to gambling, on board with any federal legalisation of online poker.

As for the latest SB 1103, it requires the Texas Lottery Commission to comply with the provisions of any federal online poker legalisation bill which may be approved by Congress and in the event of such a federal law, the Commission "...shall promptly adopt all rules and procedures necessary to implement the federal law. It shall notify the governor of the date on which all rules and procedures are adopted."

Representative Kuempel supports the idea of a state constitutional amendment sending the legalisation issue to a state ballot in November to give people their right to vote, for according to him, 80 percent of Texans want that right whether it be for or against.

He has noted that Texas is losing perhaps as much as $4 billion dollars a year to the bordering states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana on the land gambling front.

"When you look at it, that's money we can keep at home, not only just for gambling revenue, then you can think about subsidiary revenues such as food sales, more income tax because it creates more jobs, and I think that the footprint gambling would provide would be a good way to raise revenue in the state," stressed Kuempel.

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