A Chance for Houston’s City Hall to Cash In

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The owners of Houston’s biggest private poker club have a way to bring in millions for Houston City Hall.

Prime Social is now calling on Houston City Council to pass a city ordinance regulating dozens of private poker rooms, modeled after the Sweet 16 sexually oriented business ordinance already in place. The poker club regulations would impose a fee on poker players when they enter that could generate 8 figures of tax revenue annually for a city strapped for cash.

The announcement came after a two-week long tournament series at the poker club on Westheimer. The final event for the Signature Series delivered nearly $1.1 million in cash for the winners, even though the club had to close for a couple days during the big freeze.

The poker tournament was also an economic impact bonanza for the City of Houston. Prime estimates the series generated between $15 and $20 million in economic impact for the city. The two-week long series brought in 15,000 players from over 20 different states.

“The City of Houston is missing a golden opportunity for extra funding from the thriving poker industry in this city,” said Wayne Dolcefino, spokesman for Prime Social. “The largest club in the state is actually asking for regulation and offering revenue up on a silver platter. Prime Social is prepared to meet with the Mayor and City Council to help the city, just as the club has done with Houston charities since it opened three years ago.”

Prime’s suggested ordinance would include a ten-dollar entry fee collected by poker clubs in the city, including controls on who can own clubs in the city like in other states. The fee would be similar to the Sweet 16 deal the city worked out with adult entertainment clubs around town. That deal generated nearly $6 million between 2016 and 2019 for city coffers.  

Prime owners believe the poker ordinance would likely generate at least ten million dollars in one year.

Prime says their tournament is another example of how the fee could raise revenue for Houston City Hall. The poker club estimates the city could have raised $150,000 from just their club in just two weeks. Prime has plans to go even bigger with their next series, which would mean even more cash for the city.

You can keep up with Prime Social’s next tournament series and live cash games on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/primesocialtx or their website, www.primesocialtx.com. Prime is located at 7801 Westheimer Road in Houston, Texas.

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