Doug Polk’s Dallas-Area Poker Room Plans Rejected


Earlier this week, Doug Polk’s endeavors to establish a poker room in the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch faced rejection. The city council voted against a proposal to permit poker clubs during their Tuesday night session.

Polk, a prominent figure in the poker world who acquired The Lodge poker club in Round Rock two years ago, aimed to extend his venture into other regions of Texas, commencing with Farmers Branch. The council meeting witnessed a turnout of both supporters and opponents of the initiative, each eager to express their viewpoints.

In an attempt to address any apprehensions regarding the potential impact of a poker club on the city, Polk personally addressed the council during the meeting.

“There are card players all over your city today, so I want to dispel the idea that this is somehow eroding the fabric of the community,” Polk told the council, according to PokerNews.

Clubs Bring Mixed Reactions

In recent years, poker clubs have become increasingly prevalent throughout Texas. Nevertheless, state regulations prohibit gambling activities where the house takes a rake. To circumvent this restriction, these establishments operate more akin to social clubs, where players pay dues resembling those of a country club.

The proliferation of such clubs, particularly in south Texas, has led to the regular hosting of cash games and tournaments. Despite their popularity, certain cities have opposed their presence within their boundaries. For instance, the city of Dallas has engaged in legal battles with business owners attempting to establish clubs within its jurisdiction.

Critics have even contended that these Texas clubs may not be legally compliant at all.

“A person commits the crime of ‘gambling promotion,’ if he intentionally or knowingly operates or participates in the earnings of a gambling place,” gaming legal expert and publisher of the Gambling and the Law blog noted in a post addressing the issue. “And ‘keeping a gambling place’ is a separate crime.”

Despite that, the clubs remain open in many parts of the state. Polk took the rejection in stride and has promised that he will keep searching for a city to open his next club.

“Want to thank everyone that came out tonight,” he noted on Twitter afterward. “Lots of people came and spoke, I appreciate supporting our concept. I also recognize lots of people who spoke against were trying to do what’s best for their town. Overall, they were respectful. Lots of great people in Farmers Branch.”