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Poker Rooms Risk Closure Under Oregon Bill

A bill currently being considered in the US state of Oregon may force poker rooms across the state to close if it passed.

Currently in the draft phase, the bill seeks to amend the State definition of ‘social gaming’ which, in its current form, would affect all games of poker that are not played outside of religious, charitable or fraternal organisations. This means normal poker rooms that are run as a business may be at risk if the bill gains any traction and widespread backing.

The bill has support among some members from both major parties in the Oregon State Legislature, with Republican Party members and the House of Representatives Speaker, a Democrat, announcing their desire for it to pass. The Speaker, 46-year-old Tina Kotek, recently likened poker rooms in Oregon to the American casino heartland of Las Vegas.

A number of clubs exist throughout the state, situated in the northwest of the country. Most are concentrated in the state’s largest city, Portland, with at least nine known poker rooms operating there according to the Pokeratlas website. Poker rooms also operate in at least ten other Oregonian cities and towns including Albany, Lincoln City and Salem.

The state has also played host to major poker tournaments in the past, a recent example being the DeepStacks Poker Tour PacWest Poker Classic in February.  While the bill still appears to be in its very early stages, poker room owners and players all over Oregon will likely be watching closely to monitor what progress, if any, it makes in the Legislature.

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