Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

City staff will work with the City Attorney’s office to draft a new land use category that will allow card houses to operate throughout Dallas. The motion was unanimously approved in Wednesday’s city hall meeting.

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City staff was directed to brainstorm a path forward after a year of legal stalemate between the city and card houses.

Chad West, District 1 council member, proposed the motion, and suggested the city include specific regulations on card house operations to align with city goals and promote a “business friendly” Dallas.

“The city manager confirmed that staff will work with the city attorney’s office to craft a land use category that considers current penal code restrictions on card houses and also provisions that will protect neighborhoods, such as proximity limitations,” West said.

The decision is a flip from past efforts that have been made to shut down card houses throughout the city.

For the last year, city attorneys have been involved in multiple lawsuits surrounding the legality of card houses.

Three businesses have faced legal action from the city which says that because gambling is illegal in Texas the card houses can not operate.

The businesses, however, say that poker is a game of skill and does not fall under the legal definition of gambling.

In Wednesday’s meeting, city staff agreed to over $550,000 in legal fees to pay for the litigation that has already taken place.

West said that his proposal “flips the script” on the relationship between the city and card houses, and will allow the city to benefit from the revenue streams of those businesses.

“Just last year, Texas Card House provided over $1.1 million in property and sales tax revenue,” West said.

West also said that shutting down card houses would potentially push the card houses underground, “where they would operate illegally and in potentially dangerous settings.”

Dallas is one of four Texas cities that Texas Card House operates in.

The other businesses involved in litigation are Shuffle 214 and Poker House of Dallas, both of which only have Dallas locations. All three businesses have remained open during the lawsuits.