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PokerLegal & Regulatory

Oregon bill aims to close Poker rooms

Poke

Oregon
r room operators in the US state of Oregon may be forced out of business if a new bill passes through the states legislature.

The bill, known as HB 2190, passed through the Oregon House of Representatives by a vote of 39-16 and now moves to the next stage in the legislatorial process – consideration by the Oregon senate.

Under the proposed legislation, Oregon constitution's existing social gaming exemption (permitting non-tribal casino style gambling) would be amended. This would mean that cities and counties in the state would only be able to authorise "social" poker games if they are operated and regulated by non-profit organisations. Any organisation which makes profit from poker room activities would be in breach of this bill.

If the bill is passed, any of 20 poker rooms currently operating in the states capital of Portland could face closure.

Furthermore, HB 2190 would make room cover charges and the generation of revenue from food and drink sales illegal.

The bill would also end the practice of poker room dealers being paid only in tips and would see them classed as full employees, ending a previous state practice of classing them only as volunteers.

Over the last five years various bills to ban Poker rooms in the state have been debated in the Oregon legislature, but none have successfully passed a final voting process due to a lack of popular support.

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