Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Washington State Gambling Commission announces changes

The quarterly Focus on Gambling (.pdf) newsletter has some interesting bits for Q1.

A good change: Today, card room operations are limited to 20 hours a day, seven days a week. Effective July 1, a card room may request permission to be open 24/7 five days a week, and 20 hours for the other two days a week.

Good proposed changes: The WSGC is considering allowing baccarat. Betting on the banker in baccarat is one of the smallest house edges in all casino games.

Bad proposed changes:

  • Increase the number of players allowed at a poker table from 10 to 12. As if it wasn't crowded enough in some card rooms already. I have a vague recollection of sitting at an 11-player table once (illegal?), and it was almost too tight to reach your cards.
  • Increase poker bet limits from $40 to $500. In essence, this pretty much means allowing no-limit hold 'em. I generally suck at NLHE, so this would draw players away from my table. They did this in Florida last year, and the podcasters at Ante Up have talked about what a wild game $2/$5 NLHE is, and implied that it becomes a game of playing all-in or fold when you arrive any time after a game opens.
  • Increase the player-supported jackpot admin fee from 10% to 35%. I hate these jackpots anyway, and now they are considering taking another 25% off the top?
  • Remove the dollar limit on card tournament fees. I don't know what the limit is, but if this passes, it wouldn't surprise me if tournament fees went up across the board. I like my el cheapo tourneys, thankyouverymuch.

"Meh" proposed changes:

  • Increase table game limits from $200 to $500. That would match the Indian casinos, and would likely reduce the number of low-limit tables out there.
  • Drop the requirement that table games be dealt from a shoe. Huh? I don't know why any casino would want this.
  • Eliminate the 5% commission limit for games like Pai Gow and Baccarat. I don't know that any player would stand for a higher commission, so I don't see anyone trying this. Then again, there's some dumb players out there.

I think they have a list of proposed changes every quarter. Usually only a couple of these changes pass. Here's hoping for lots of match play baccarat this fall.

1 comment:

Kerrizor said...

NLHE 2/5, especially with the 500 betting limit, is a push-or-fold game. It stinks.. especially since the maximum buy-in at most places is comparatively low, compared to the blinds >.<

10-12 players change is horrible; I'd never play 11 handed, let alone 12 handed. ugh!

Yay for baccarat, tho!