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Cashing Out? City Of Dallas Revokes 'Poker Room' Permits Months After Approving Them

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It's among hottest and most profitable small businesses in Dallas right now, but it could soon be shut down by the city despite backing from the city council member who welcomed it to his district.

The Texas Card House is a poker room whose owners thought they were operating legally, until the city decided to revoke their permit.

Only months after the city said "yes" to poker rooms like this, it's mysteriously revoking permits.

Steven Gribin is among the 400 to 500 people a day who buy chips and play hold 'em at Texas Card House.

"I'm retired and I like playing cards," said Gribin. "It keeps my head going, it keeps me aware."

The Westlake resident and others at the poker room no longer have to find underground and often illegal places to play poker.

"We spent about 2-and-a-half years trying to find a location that we could open that the city approved of," said Texas Card House CEO Ryan Crow.

Crow is one of the owners who says he endured long meetings with the city in 2020 before it ultimately approved his permit to operate in this strip mall off Harry Hines in an industrial part of Northwest Dallas.

But the owners recently received a letter revoking their permit for "keeping a gambling place."

That's despite the fact the house doesn't take a cut from each hand, which would be illegal gambling.

Instead, players pay $13 an hour to sit at a table, some of the games are even live-streamed.

District 6 City Councilman Omar Narvaez, who represents the neighborhood supports Texas Card House.

"I think it's unfair that all of the sudden all of these COs (certificates of occupancy) for all these card rooms have suddenly been revoked," he said. "Unfortunately our city attorney has decided to change the idea of what he believes constitutes card rules according to the law."

Owners of the business plan to appeal the decision and say about 215 people will lose their jobs if Texas Card House shuts down.

While the players, they say, will lose a safe place to find a game.

There are a few other poker rooms operating in the city of Dallas.

CBS 11 is trying to find out if their certificates of occupancy have also been revoked. There has been no response yet from the City Attorney's Office.

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