Oregon legislation calls for brick & mortar poker ban

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Apr 28, 2013 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

ban10With most eyes following the progress of online poker in several different states there has been little attention paid to several other states that have sought to pass poker legislation that would ban online poker, but the recent bill that is being proposed in Oregon could be draconian enough to make people stand up and take notice.

According to the Oregonian (www.oregonlive.com) Republican lawmaker Julie Parrish thinks Brick and Mortar poker rooms are getting out of control in the state: “These things have exploded… It’s kind of like hookah lounges… “Apparently, if you go into them, you would think you were in Las Vegas,” Parrish was quoted as saying –not really sure what she has against Hookah Lounges either, but that’s a whole different debate. And lest you think that Parrish that Parrish is just some lone-rightwing-crusader, think again; Parrish’s bill, LC 3928, has already gained the support of Democrat House Speaker Tina Kotek, who has her own issues with gaming, specifically video poker machines in bars and delis in the state, according to the Oregonian.

So what kind of Vegas-style, monstrosities masquerading as card-rooms have been opening-up in Oregon to cause such ire? It seems there are about a dozen card-rooms similar in size and scale to the Encore Poker Club, which services about 150 players each day and has a grand total of 15 employees according to the club’s owner John Ogai, who spoke with the Oregonian for the story. Oh, and did I mention these games aren’t even raked! That’s right, Oregon card-rooms charge a $10 cover-charge to walk in the door, and the club makes their money from food and beverage sales.

With 47 comments on the article it would seem that the vast majority of Oregonians are not quite sold on banning card-rooms, citing everything from the couple hundred jobs that would be lost to the infringement on personal liberties, and it should be noted that Oregon does have Indian Casinos that people can frequent where the odds are indeed with the house.

The bill hasn’t gone anywhere just yet (it hasn’t even been brought up in committee) but the simple fact that lawmakers are trying to push through these bills should give anyone who is an advocate for the right to play poker pause, and should really hit home that even with recent progress in online poker, if you become complacent some lawmakers will try to slip these bills through unnoticed. And it’s not like these lawmakers simply go off halfcocked or to settle-up a debt with a campaign donor or something… oh wait, it seems that Kotek admits she has never even step foot in one of these card-rooms… but she is still against them.

You can read the full article here: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/04/portland_poker_rooms_face_shut.html



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