Earlier in December of 2012, State Senator Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) introduced and filed State of Texas Bill H.B. 292, Poker Gaming Act of 2013. The bill states that “all poker gaming conducted in the state of Texas and authorized by law will be regulated and licensed unless the state or federal law specifically states otherwise and bans Internet poker.”
The bill would also permit, allow existing pari-mutuel facilities, bingo halls and tribal concerns to apply for licenses to operate poker games, where tournaments would feature a maximum buy-in of $100 but there would be no limits applied to cash games.
The taxation of 18% of gross revenues will be levied and a portion going to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is planned to help with the states homelessness issues.
The bill claims regulation of poker gaming in Texas is important to ensure that poker gaming is conducted honestly and competitively and free from criminal and other corruptible elements. Stating public confidence and trust can be maintained only by strict regulation of all persons, locations, practices, associations, and activities related to the conduct of poker gaming and service industry.
Licensing for Poker in Texas will be valid for one calendar year, upon which time a renewal is required with annual fees paid, fees for licenses in Texas and renewals:
- $1,000 for a poker operator’s license
- $100 for a poker dealer’s license
- $250 for a manufacturer’s license
- $250 for a distributor’s license