Short Stacks: Kentucky Expands Gambling, Texas Looks to do Same, and Gabe’s Birthday Message

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Pay attention, Sweat Hogs: Gabe Kaplan has a birthday message.

Also, online and live sports betting has been approved by Kentucky lawmakers, with Rhode Island and Texas looking at their own gambling expansion bills, are a few short stacks CardsChat picked up in the latest orbit of poker news.

Kentucky’s Senate finally approved online and live sportsbooks. (Image:

An online and live sports betting bill in Kentucky has passed and was signed into law by the governor Friday. Online poker, which was included in the original bill, was stripped out before being considered.

This ends a five-year fight by political allies of the horse racing industry, which includes the Commonwealth’s giant, Churchill Downs.

The Bill passed by two votes — 18 Republicans joined all seven Democrats to hit the 25-vote threshold.

By Forbes count (and ours, too), Kentucky is now the 34th state to allow online sportsbooks, plus Washington D.C.

Online poker, on the other hand, is legal in only Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, and Connecticut (W.V. and Conn. do not have sites operating in them because of their small sizes).

It’s not known if and when officials will again explore online poker legalization in Kentucky.

Kaplan dishes out words of wisdom

Gabe Kaplan, who recently retired from hosting High Stakes Poker, turned 79 last week, and he had some words the younger poker player’s among us should heed:

I hate to tell everyone, but he got it right.

Monster jackpot hit in Reno

A very, very lucky slots player hit a $14 million jackpot on a $10 bet at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa on Sunday — yes, that’s good enough for the largest slots jackpot in Reno history. The Reno woman wishes to remain anonymous and who could blame her?

The progressive jackpot was hit on an IGT Megabucks machine. The massive pots are built thanks to a network of Megabucks slots linked together throughout casinos in the US and Mexico.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, it was the first Megabucks jackpot hit in Nevada in two years.

Texas gambling bills advanced by committee

Bills that would allow up to seven casinos to be built in Texas, online casinos and sports betting has made it out of committee.

But it has a long way to go and is definitely an underdog to be approved. As reported by the Texas Tribune, the Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is firmly against expansion, and recently said the Senate does not have the numbers.

Not only that, because gambling expansion would require Texas’ Constitution to be revised, a two-third majority in both cambers would be required — this will be tough in conservative Texas. Plus, voters will also have to vote approve the revision.

New Hampshire may expand online gambling

New Hampshire’s Senate voted to move legislation forward that would allow its residents to access online casino games, including online poker. It passed 12-11, and will now move on to be considered by its House.

The state already has live and online sportsbooks. If passed, it’s still a long-shot for online poker sites to open there —  online casinos are reluctant to offer online poker in small markets like New Hampshire.

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