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NEWS 29 January 2015

Nebraska poker bill tabled

By David Cook
Nebraska has introduced a bill that would legalise poker at land-based establishments in the state.

State Libertarian Tyson Larson, whose LB 619 bill was posted online, argues that poker is a game of skill.

State law currently prohibits games of chance from being authorised by lawmakers, but the bill would allow bars with liquor licenses and land-based casinos to host poker games.

The bill states: “The Legislature finds that:

“(a) Certain poker games require skill and players that are able to develop that skill may become professional poker players.

“(b) While poker does have a random component in the cards that players are dealt, there is more skill than luck for successful poker players in games where the player implements a strategy by making decisions that influence the other players and ultimately the game's outcome.”

Non-profit organisations would also be able to appeal for licences and purchase a special short-term permit, with permitted games taxed at 5% of the money at stake in cash games and tournaments.

The bill is designed to help alleviate high property taxes and fund local governments by splitting poker tax proceeds 50/49%.

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