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The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is on the Look Out for Illegal Gambling

By: Carly Kennelly
By: Carly Kennelly

A group of Texas A&M students play poker once a week and buy in is only five dollars.

"Most people who play poker play for money because if you don't it's like why are you playing," said student, Michael Beck.

Randy Field is an agent at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Among other things, the TABC is responsible for investigating gambling in the state. He said the allure of these amateur games is the money. He's seen an increase in the game's popularity since its debut on television.

"Two years ago if you would of asked someone what Texas Hold'em was no one would recognize the name," said Beck.

"Probably about the same reason why pogs we're popular, yo yo's used to be popular, it's just one popular kid started it and now everybody wants to play," said student Matt Farley.

There are three points that make a game legal. First it has to be held in a private place rather than public. The odds of winning have to be equal for everyone, and the house can't take a cut of the winnings.

"The dealers not paid, the waitresses aren't paid, only personal winnings and it's what you think of as a friendly poker game," said Field.

In December, TABC agents made a bust at the Greenfield Plaza in Bryan. They found about 25 people gambling illegally and taking part in illegal alcohol sales.

"This day people have money that they can go do things with, so the college age is kind of the big group that was the biggest group at the December bust," said Field.

If you have any doubt about whether your game is legal or not, Field said the best thing to do is call the TABC.


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