Poker News

New poker room planned for San Antonio, TX

River Walk in San Antonio is getting a new poker and social club

Poker rooms have operated in Texas for years via a loophole in state gambling laws, with the newest planned to start operating near the River Walk in downtown San Antonio. According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Brooklyn Square Social Club and Card Parlor will open at 1126 N. Saint Mary’s St.

The new poker room is registered under Tres Comas, LLC, and posted about the upcoming opening on its “X” (formerly Twitter) page. An August 12 post says the proposed site at North Saint Mary’s Street and Brooklyn Avenue will have a bar and lounge with 16 poker tables. The post also says the business is hiring, although no opening date was provided. The post also reads, “How often do card houses of this magnitude open?”

Despite strict laws in Texas that prohibit gambling, poker rooms have been operating throughout the state. Texas Card House Dallas owner Ryan Crow said in a 2021 interview with Spectrum News that the businesses operate through a loophole in Texas Penal Code Chapter 47. Basically, as long as the business doesn’t collect a rake, which is a small percentage of each pot, the site can operate legally.

Crow also said these card parlors operate as private clubs by charging membership fees or an hourly rate to play. Recent bills filed in the Texas legislature to regulate poker rooms failed to pass in the state House and Senate.

An arrest warrant was issued by a Bexar County Judge for the owner of San Antonio Poker Palace in July after it was closed for refusing to pay out a $100,000 “bad beat jackpot” and defaulting on the rent. Richard Florestan was accused of breaking into the business after he was locked out and taking equipment from the building.

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