Texas Poker Legalization DOA

by Lou on May 14, 2007

HB 3186, the Texas bill that would have legalized poker in the Lone Star State, died a procedural death in the Texas state legislature, after failing to reach the floor for a second reading before the midnight deadline.

That’s the way they kill bills that do not have a great deal of support. The bill was placed toward the bottom of a 23-page legislative calendar, almost guaranteeing that it would not surface for a second reading before its allotted time expired.

State Representative Jose Menendez, who sponsored the bill and emphasized that it would create a well-regulated environment for poker, said the action was taken because: “A lot of my colleagues are afraid that voting for legalizing poker might hurt them in their next election. In particular, my Republican friends are the ones that are afraid of their primary voters.”

Menendez has not said whether he will reintroduce his poker legislation in subsequent years, despite the fact that poker is supported by most Texans in public opinion polls.

Failure to pass the Menendez bill means, of course, license to strike for the Dallas swat team. They are fond of raiding poker games by kicking down doors with guns drawn, as if they were about to bag a bounty of terrorists. For more on the poker climate of fear in Texas, see my blog entry dated: Wednesday, November 22, 2006, entitled: Dallas SWAT teams raid local poker rooms.

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