Back in the 80s, the state of Oregon added social gaming rules to their state legislation and since that time gamblers in the state have enjoyed the game of poker at various gaming facilities. Independent card rooms have popped up over the years and have given everyday people a nice release and entertainment option.
However, this could soon come to an end…
A new bill is currently under consideration in the state that would shut down these types of poker card rooms in the state.
Lawmakers who are against gambling options have banded together to support the new bill. State Representative and anti-gambling advocate Julie Parrish is a staunch supporter of the bill and it aims to make social games like poker only available to charitable organizations, fraternal organizations and religious sects.
Working alongside Parrish is Tina Kotek, the House Speaker. Kotek is in favor of the new measure and seems to be on a personal mission to also shut down establishments who run slot machines and video poker options in the state. Kotek has already given the bill approval and it will be discussed in a soon to be House Rules Committee public hearing.
Kotek compares the Oregon poker rooms to their Las Vegas counterparts. But according to one such establishment’s owner, that is not the case. OregonLive reported that Encore card room owner John Ogai strongly disagrees with Kotek’s stance, stating that players are competing for a community pot and the club does not take a rake or percentage of the player’s money. Ogai points out that all monies go to the players and the game of poker is a game of skill unlike other casino games that are based on chance.
Ogai stated to OregonLive: “We’re not a casino. We are a small business, and we feel like we’re bringing a lot of value to the city.” Ogai wasn’t even aware of the proposal until he was notified by a reporter. He is now planning on doing what he can to keep his business open which is undoubtedly what other poker room owners will be doing as well.
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