MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - From big money tournaments on TV to the casinos of Las Vegas, poker is a game played by those who set out to combine skill with the luck of the draw.
Here in the Permian Basin, new businesses like Kojack’s Poker Club are bringing the experience of the centuries old card game to West Texans.
“We know that poker player living in the community and we wanted to have something to keep them from travelling to other states like Oklahoma or Louisiana,” said Kimber Kincaid, a co-owner of Kojacks.
Kimber says her and her business partner prides themselves on offering a casino like poker experience for Permian Basin residents.
“We try really hard to mimic casino play aside from taking the rake so that players will be ready for the world series of poker and world poker tournaments,” said Kincaid.
Though you may be wondering, how they operate under a Texas Penal Code that outlaws gambling? The answer is in the details.
“There are three things that we have in place that keep us as a legal operation, one of those being that were a private membership based club, the second is that there is no rake taken off the table, and the third being that everyone has the same advantages of winning and losing,” Kincaid explained.
Legally speaking, poker is defined as a game of skill with equal opportunity for all players. So, with the house not taking a cut, and the privacy of memberships only, Midland police officials like Sgt. Chandler say the businesses are as legal as a private poker game among friends.
“Private poker rooms have not really raised concern as a Midland Police Department, as long as they’re legal and not collecting any money,” said Chandler.
There are now over 40 private poker rooms in Texas, so there’s no denying the rise of the industry, but will future legislatures view this business model as a loop hole, or will this be a way of playing that’s here to stay in Texas?
Only time will tell.
“We are not concerned about future legislation or that they will move to a licensing type structure which we will then oblige to and we are completely on board with that,” said Kincaid.