Electronic Poker Tables Facing Shutdown in Wisconsin

As many states in the US have began to expand existing gambling options – as well as online options –  for the first time, the state of Wisconsin has been dealt an unfortunate setback in that very niche. The state made the news earlier in the week as the state Attorney General is trying to shut down a popular Madison poker room.

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Attorney General’s Office filed a suit with the US District Court against the Ho-Chunk Casino. The casino is located in Madison, Wisconsin, and is completely ran by the local tribes in the area. According to popular gaming news portal http://www.toptenpokersites.org it is also one the premier gambling destinations in the state.

The suit states that poker is not ‘explicitly authorized’ in the state and is ‘explicitly prohibited’ by the state law. Even though the poker gaming options are electronic in nature, the state does not feel as though the game is legally valid.

The Ho-Chunk tribe does not feel that the state is correct. Their tribal leaders feels that these particular electronic poker options should be allowed as they provide an opportunity for players to compete against each other instead of the house.

The Ho-Chunk tribe is allowed to offer table gaming options at the Black River Falls, Nekoosa and Wisconsin Dells locations but the Tomah and Madison locations are supposed to have much more restricted options. Last year the tribe saw their contract restricting poker options at the Madison property. The agreement with Ho-Chunk and the state of Wisconsin states that the tribe is allowed to have as many as three Las Vegas style gambling locations.

The remaining facilities have to maintain the Class II gaming license and the state feels that the tribe has not done enough to warrant keeping their existing license to have such gaming options available to its patrons.

It will be interesting to see if the state will win this argument or if the tribe will be able to continue their electronic poker options, which have proven to be popular in certain Las Vegas casinos.  The company behind PokerTek is one of the leading electronic poker brands being used today.