Dallas City Council approves more legal fees for ongoing social-poker club zoning fight

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: June 30, 2023 02:40 PDT

The fight over the legality of social-poker clubs in Dallas, Texas continues to cost the city more and more money for legal fees. On Wednesday, Dallas City Council members approved an additional $75,000 in a matter where the city has essentially sued itself.

The ongoing zoning battle over certificates of occupancy involves the two remaining social-poker clubs still operating within the Dallas city limits, Texas Card House Dallas and Shuffle 214. Both clubs continue spreading poker games in the wake of an adverse court ruling that reversed the initial occupancy permits granted to the clubs by Dallas's Board of Adjustment.

Dallas's City Attorney's office sought to ban social-poker clubs inside the Dallas city boundaries, even though the Board of Adjustment had reaffirmed Texas Card House Dallas's right to operate. That leld to the Dallas City Attorney's office suing the city's Board of Adjustment, claiming the board had exceeded its zoning authority, with the city of Dallas now continuing to pay the legal fees on both sides of that battle.

Meanwhile, Texas Card House Dallas continues to appeal the reversal and revocation of its occupancy permit, despite a lower appellate court's ruling in favor of the Dallas City Attorney's opinion. That case could eventually find its way to the Texas Supreme Court, where an adverse final ruling could also have an impact on the legality of social-poker clubs throughout Texas.

Texas Card House Dallas and Shuffle 214 are the only two venues in Dallas that operate under the loophole in Texas gambling laws that allowed such clubs to come into existence statewide. One other such club, Poker House Dallas, was forced to close last month under different circumstances when it was affirmed that its certificate of occupancy had been obtained for a planned nightclub, and not a poker room. A fourth poker club in Dallas, Peaks, operates entirely as a not-for-profit and is not governed by the same bundle of laws as the other Dallas clubs.

Featured image source: Facebook / Texas Card House Dallas