You See it All Over Television, High Stakes Poker

How would you like to take a shot at thousands of dollars at the poker table? Thanks to a state court ruling this week, you may soon be able to do that at Ebro Greyhound Park and dozens of other Florida race tracks.

A state court ruled this week that gaming regulators overstepped their authority by limiting poker jackpots at Florida pari-mutuel facilities.

Several south Florida pari-mutuels sued the division of pari-mutuel wagering, challenging the state-imposed betting limits. They say that gives the Indian casinos, which offer high-stakes betting, an unfair advantage.

The state began allowing low-stakes poker games at Florida's dog and horse tracks and jai alai fontons in 1997. Ebro Greyhound Park was one of the first to take advantage of the poker laws.

When it began, buy-in limits were $10. They're now up to $32 for tournament play, but if this court ruling stands, the limits will be lifted, allowing larger pots.

Ebro Greyhound Park owner Stocky Hess says that people should be allowed to buy-in at whatever price they want.

"We've heard talk of a lot of home tournaments for higher buy-ins than we can offer, so it'll allow us to open the door and allow us to compete."

The court ruling could bring in more money for pari-mutuel facilities, but there is concern among groups like Gamblers Anonymous and the Council on Compulsive Gambling.

Those groups feel no limit buy-in pari-mutuels will increase the already growing numbers of people who have developed gambling addictions.


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