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Old 12-20-2015, 06:55 PM   #151
Lucyinthesky
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Currently in austin looking for a game. Played at Texas Card House last night pretty good action for a 1/2 game..To bad they are close on sundays or mondays, can anyone please pm me info on any home games .
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:24 PM   #152
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

So this seems like a pretty big loophole

Why wouldn't existing illegal clubs just do it this way and make it legal

No dealer tips is a law ?
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:22 AM   #153
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by THAKID View Post
So this seems like a pretty big loophole

Why wouldn't existing illegal clubs just do it this way and make it legal

No dealer tips is a law ?
Texas is probably like most states where law says its illegal to profit from the running of any form of gambling.

The membership club concepts skirts around this as the membership fee is collected and not directly related to the running of a game. Its a fee to be a member to of this social club and so all sorts of things, including play in a rake free game.

Tipping dealers would be problematic as someone would be profiting from running gambling operation.

Not sure how this club gets around not tipping dealers as they advertise. Either players do it under the table, or club must pay the dealers something more than minimum wage.

Can anyone that plays in the Austin club explain more about dealer tips?
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Old 12-24-2015, 06:23 PM   #154
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Someone posted earlier that the dealers make $20 per hour in tips. That would make the game illegal. The membership fees also make the game illegal. Only true home games where no one profits on the games (other than their own personal winnings) are legal in Texas. This was explained in page one of this thread and also in post 105.
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:59 PM   #155
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

no tips on the table, the house pays them $20 an hour.

certainly under a strict reading of the law the place is breaking the law
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:09 PM   #156
et300
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

received an email over the weekend that they are going to a timed game....$20 per month, or $200 per year, plus $8 per hour logged in. Isn't a timed game, a raked game? lol
Their site dictates the fee is a rental rate for their game room.
http://www.texascardhouse.com/#!membership/cuxg
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:01 AM   #157
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Yeah, a timed game is a raked game. I guess they had to find a way to make more money.
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Old 01-06-2016, 02:08 AM   #158
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

The monthly membership lowered from 150.00 to 20.00/month, but you end up paying more per night with the change that went live today. If you played 10 times a month, your cost was 15.00 a night, which is excellent, but that is definitely not enough to cover their cost. Renting a seat is a huge change as 8 hour session would cost 64.00 to play.

The other thing they are requiring is to hold your ID and Credit Card until you leave. I think issues may arise from that:

1. You forget your ID/Credit Card (Happens frequently in bars - you just forget and go back the next day and hope it was put in their safe).
2. Having someone hold your Credit Card can be unsettling.

I understand their reasoning to make sure players do not "walk" the fees, but there could be other solutions that would be more secure. ie: Do a pre-auth to verify the card, then charge when they leave the card that was authorize like a hotel does.

Last, it would be a bummer of a night if you lost your stack then had to leave and pay even more money.
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:49 PM   #159
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImpliedQu33ns View Post
The monthly membership lowered from 150.00 to 20.00/month, but you end up paying more per night with the change that went live today. If you played 10 times a month, your cost was 15.00 a night, which is excellent, but that is definitely not enough to cover their cost. Renting a seat is a huge change as 8 hour session would cost 64.00 to play.

The other thing they are requiring is to hold your ID and Credit Card until you leave. I think issues may arise from that:

1. You forget your ID/Credit Card (Happens frequently in bars - you just forget and go back the next day and hope it was put in their safe).
2. Having someone hold your Credit Card can be unsettling.

I understand their reasoning to make sure players do not "walk" the fees, but there could be other solutions that would be more secure. ie: Do a pre-auth to verify the card, then charge when they leave the card that was authorize like a hotel does.

Last, it would be a bummer of a night if you lost your stack then had to leave and pay even more money.
How is it holding up with the recent change in membership fees?
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:03 PM   #160
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Anyone been to this place since the fee changes? Do they charge an hourly fee for playing tournaments?
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:41 PM   #161
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

I've been multiple times this year since the fee hike. It has not impacted volume of players - the place is still packed with the cash game list filling up in usually less than 10 minutes when they start taking calls at 6:00. Every time I've been there they've had a good sized waiting list.

There are a handful of good regs but mostly TCH is still chalk-full of fish. Very juicy game, especially when they're running PLO.
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Old 03-11-2016, 03:31 PM   #162
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

no rake clubs have been going on in oregon for the past 7 years. I'm glad its finally catching on
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Old 03-11-2016, 05:58 PM   #163
weewees
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

It says they have 2/5nl on their site. Has that ever gone or just 1/2?
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:12 PM   #164
trade2win
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

How is this place still open when they openly advertise a timed game that's clearly illegal, yet we have random small stake games getting raided by police as if they're preventing a terrorist attack.
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:03 PM   #165
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

They're operating in a gray area of the law. Their explanation is that the time charge is part of the membership fee if you're playing in a game. From the website:

"Additional membership charges- $8/hour
Starting January 5th, 2016 Each member is required to rent their seat for all gameroom activities. "

The relevant parts of Texas law on gambling state:

Sec. 47.04. KEEPING A GAMBLING PLACE.
(a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly uses or permits another to use as a gambling place any real estate, building, room, tent, vehicle, boat, or other property whatsoever owned by him or under his control, or rents or lets any such property with a view or expectation that it be so used.
(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:
(1) the gambling occurred in a private place;
(2) no person received any economic benefit other than personal winnings; and
(3) except for the advantage of skill or luck, the risks of losing and the chances of winning were the same for all participants.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

#1 is met because the establishment becomes a "private" place by enforcing a paid membership.
#3 is met because you're playing a zero-sum game where only the game participants can wager and receive money (running blackjack wouldn't be defensible)

So really it comes down to #2... "no person received any economic benefit other than personal winnings." Certainly the membership fee is an "economic benefit" for the venue, but the establishment would argue that this benefit is not directly related to the game. Their business is to provide a safe and secure place to enjoy a legal passtime and that's what their membership fees pay for - a furnished venue, tables, professional dealers, security guard, etc. They are not making money off the game itself.

This is their interpretation anyway. A judge might have a different interpretation, so ultimately it will come down to whether some state attorney or county official decides they wants to shut them down - then it will be fought in court. I was skeptical for a while but now that they've been open over a year I'm starting to think that the state has decided it's not worth prosecuting. After all, what harm is being caused here? Underground poker rooms are often busted not because there is gambling going on, but because there is drug use and/or sale going on. A legitimate business that is paying taxes, employing people, and not hiding anything has no such worry.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:10 PM   #166
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

I'm looking for a home game in austin, if anybody knows of one a pm would be appreciated
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:10 PM   #167
Up To Eleven
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

I haven't played in the Austin Poker Club but 9 days ago a similar operation opened in San Antonio. It's called Alamo Card House. They charge a $10 "Membership Fee" each night then $6/hour (rounding up) for cash game. They charge a higher "Membership Fee" for the tournament with no hourly charge.

I played Friday night and loved it! I played about 3-1/2 hours of $1/$2 for a total fee of $34. That's considerably less than a casino and WAY less than an illegal underground game (so I'm told). Absolutely no tipping allowed.

When I cashed out my modest profit, the Manager told me one of the players informed him he was an undercover cop. The cop gave him some suggestions for improving security but said the place was not doing anything illegal.

This is awesome and I think it's going to explode in popularity. It will be interesting to see if others enter the market. I can imaging the horse track opening a similar club or at the very least another low overhead operator. I can also imaging the bible thumpers pressuring the State to create a new law that would shut this down. Only time will tell.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:35 PM   #168
bot01101
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Does the house make money by charging the membership fees?
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Old 04-12-2016, 04:08 PM   #169
Blargle
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by bot01101 View Post
Does the house make money by charging the membership fees?
Yes. When Texas Card House originally opened their only revenue stream was the membership fees. Since then they've reduced the price of the membership fees significantly, removed the "24 hour pass" option, but added on an hourly "rent your chair" fee. As of this posting their pricing is $20/month membership fee + $8/hour to sit in a game.

So let's say you play five 6-hour sessions in a month, your total cost for the month would be $260.

Compare this to a casino where you're paying $3-5 pot + tipping the dealer and staff.

Last edited by Blargle; 04-12-2016 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 04-13-2016, 04:57 AM   #170
dragonfang1
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

I am going to open one in Houston, since the closest casino offering poker is more than 2 hours away. How many tables should I start with? What advertising should I do? I already made a appointment with the lawyer today to discuss the legality of the thing. Any advice is appreciated.

Last edited by dragonfang1; 04-13-2016 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:01 AM   #171
Up To Eleven
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

My brother wants to do the same in Waco. My advice to him was to visit the operations in South Austin and San Antonio. That will answer most of your questions. Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:21 PM   #172
WharfRat1976
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Themaestrony View Post
No way they won't be raided. Governments (state,city,local or fed) never let people shoot angles like this
14 months and no raid. Packed almost full every night it's open.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:50 PM   #173
WharfRat1976
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

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Originally Posted by beefluig View Post
Sucks for me, I moved from Cleveland to Austin about a month and a half ago and there are no games anywhere. I'm gonna miss Live poker. Wouldn't even know where to begin to find private games. Wouldn't feel comfortable anyways. The player pool in Cleveland was mainly soft. Sigh.
PM me, I will dial you in if you want. Games galore.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:51 PM   #174
WharfRat1976
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

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Originally Posted by D_Lonnigan View Post
This place is like 2 miles from my house. It has no chance of survival.
Full house right now. Come on!
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:10 PM   #175
WharfRat1976
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Re: Legal poker in Texas

Nvmnd

Last edited by WharfRat1976; 04-29-2016 at 09:16 PM.
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