Dallas BOA Rules in Favor of Texas Card House Poker Room
- Texas Card House is operating legally, according to the Board of Adjustment
- The poker room can now continue to operate after its license was revoked two months ago
- TCH’s recent legal victory is good news for all poker rooms operating across Texas
Texas Card House (TCH), a popular poker room in Dallas that had its Certificate of Occupancy (COA) canceled in January by the City Council, can now resume its operations after winning an appeal with the Board of Adjustment (BOA).
The board on Tuesday voted unanimously that poker is legal in Dallas, and that TCH did not commit any violations. During the meeting, board member Kathleen Frankford claimed that the revocation of the poker room’s permit was carried out for political reasons. She added that TCH operated within the law and complied with the relevant requirements to run poker games in the city.
The Dallas City Council revoked TCH’s license back in January without providing a clear explanation other than alleging that the room violated state laws for keeping a gambling place. This accusation was vehemently denied by the poker room’s owner and CEO Ryan Crow.
In 2019, Crow met with members of the council to submit his proposal to run a poker club in the city. While his application for a license was initially turned down, Crow eventually got the approval. City attorney Chris Caso, who held a different position at that time, backed Crow’s plans.
Within nearly two years of serving poker players in and around Dallas, TCH had adhered to the rules only to be told that it had been operating illegally. The sudden U-turn was mainly due to political pressure and had no legal grounds, according to Frankford.
Had the city council succeeded in its attempt to shut down TCH, the operations of several other poker rooms in the city would have also been put at risk.
Positive Development for Poker Industry in Texas
The legal status of poker in Texas remains complicated as state law interpretations vary for each jurisdiction. Some card rooms operate smoothly in certain cities, while those located in other areas have had to deal with legal challenges.
Under Texas law, casinos are prohibited, but poker rooms can legally operate provided they don’t collect any rake. In compliance with this, poker venues across the state adopt a membership-based business model wherein players are charged a membership or seat fee so they can play. No rake is collected on the buy-ins.
With TCH’s recent victory, other poker clubs in Texas opening after the pandemic can now be more confident that their operations are protected by the law.