A card room in Texas was reportedly raided by local police late last week.
Top Shelf Poker Room, located in the city of Fint just south of Tyler and about 100 miles to the southeast of Dallas, has been accused of operating illegal gambling, according to a report from KLTV.
The poker room, like others in the state, is considered a private social club. Poker players pay daily, monthly, or yearly membership dues, as well as fees for club access. A traditional poker rake rake isn’t charged in order for the business model to square with existing law. Poker is a game of skill. However, apparently authorities in Smith County disagreed.
According to the report, authorities said there was also a charity element to the room and its proceeds. Authorities reportedly seized “gambling paraphernalia”, U.S. currency, financial ledgers, “as well as other documents and electronics.”
A local poker player said on Twitter that police “kept everyone’s money.”
how many people here are aware the top shelf poker room in tyler got raided a day or 2 ago and the police kept everyones money? i almost went to it after i left coushatta instead of waco.
— tony bigcharles (@sevencard2003) March 11, 2022
The raid reportedly was the result of “several months” of undercover police work.
A notice signed by District Attorney Jacob Putman stated the business was in violation of Texas Penal Code Chapter 47 and should cease operating immediately.
“Any gambling with economic benefit to the business is illegal,” Putman said. “We’ve seen this in other counties operating gambling rooms, hoping they won’t get shut down and hoping the law won’t be enforced. But this is the first one in Smith County in a while.”
The raid of Top Shelf Poker Room follows a popular poker room in Dallas losing its permit in January. Texas Card House in Northwest Dallas apparently is in the crosshairs of local officials but the room was still in operation as of mid-March.
Texas Card House has three other locations in the state.
There are around 60 poker rooms in the state that are operating under the social club model. It appears scrutiny on the rooms is happening on merely a local level.