A Bill on Pot Limits for Live Poker Games

January 14, 2013

The poker authorities introduced a bill that suggests an increase in the pot limits, specifically in live poker games a few days back. This bill was introduced in the legislative house of Montana. It was backed by the Justice Department of the state, and the gambling and tavern associations as well. So far, none of the authorities have testified in opposition to the bill. The hearing of the bill took place in front of the Labor Committee and the Business House of the state. At present, it looks like this bill will get approved in a few months’ time.

The details of the bill

This bill was introduced in front of the houses by a representative, Pat Noonan. It was introduced in the 141 House Bill. This bill was introduced by the representative, on behalf of the Gaming Advisory Council within the state. The representative for this bill works at the advisory council as well. This council studies all issues and decisions related to gambling. The members of the council study all the problems or queries that are put forth by the gambling companies, and then make appropriate suggestions to the Justice Department in order to rectify these problems. These suggestions are put forth in front of the Justice Department as it regulates the gambling industry and can amend or make new laws.

According to the new bill that has been presented to the Justice Department, live poker games will have a pot limit of around $800. At present, live poker games have a pot limit of $300. The current pot limit for live poker was set in the year 1989 and has not been changed since. The casinos that offer live poker feel that this pot limit restricts their scope to conduct poker tournaments. If the pot limit is increased to $800, the casinos will be able to organize more tournaments for the regular players, and they can also have small-stake tournaments for a selected audience at the same time.

In addition to this, the bill suggests that the permit fees charged on video gambling machines should also be increased by $20. Experts state that the Gambling Control Division is facing a shortage in funds at present. So with an increase in the permit fees, the control division will be able to regain its financial stability. If this bill is implemented, the fee revenues of the division for each of the machines will go up to $240 in comparison to $220 during the last year.

In the year 2012, the state released close to 19,294 permits for video gambling games within the state. So if this bill is passed by the authorities, the additional revenue that will be collected by the division will be close to $356,000. With the increase in the revenue, the division will be able to better the conditions of the gambling facilities within the state.

Bringing live poker at par with video poker and bingo

The administrator of the Gambling Control Division, Rick Ask states that the number of poker tournaments and live poker tables within the state has reduced drastically in the past few years. Therefore, with the implementation of this bill, the live poker situation in Montana can be improved. This is the reason why the council is supporting the bill.

If the new bill is implemented by the authorities, it will play a vital role in bringing live poker at par with bingo and video poker. At present, video poker and bingo are more popular among the players as they have higher stakes than live poker. With the new live poker pot limits, the players will be able to win more money, so they will be attracted to live poker. According to Noonan, this change will attract many players as they will be able to play high-stake tournaments in live poker as well. Furthermore, with the increased pot limit, the live poker organizers will be able to collect more revenues that can be reinvested in bettering the gaming experience of the players.

With regard to the increase in the permit fees for the video gambling machines, Noonan feels that the individuals who rent these machines will benefit the most. In fact, route operators and various machine owners usually rent their machines to taverns or casinos. So with the increase in the permit fee, their revenues will increase as well.