Another among the most common objections that we encounter when advocating to acquaintances, friends, and family who are not active poker players is this:
“I don’t want a Card Room or Casino across the street from my Church/School” – or some substantially similar dismissal of the topic.
The first, and arguably most important, decision that almost any business must consider is its location. A business must consider a location that is likely to attract the desired customers. A location should be selected that allows for easy access to the business, with ample and safe parking for its customers. A business should, ideally, select an area where the local community welcomes the operation, and encourages local residents to support the business.
When considering all of these (and a great deal more) factors, a Card Room or Poker Room would not want to be next door to, or across the street from, a local church, or local school with students who are minors. First, the target demographic of customers and players are not who the Card Room is most likely looking to attract. Second, the local community would most likely not be supportive of even the most well designed and professionally maintained establishment. Further, in areas with large churches and schools, land with adequate parking and zoning to build a Card Room or Poker Room would be next to impossible to find, and definitely not within any reasonable budget.
In short, as much as people claim ““I don’t want a Card Room or Casino across the street from my Church/School”, the business operators (most likely) are even more adamant about not wanting to be in those locations. When addressing and overcoming objections like this, taking the time to explain the facts about what is being proposed is essential in the conversation.
As has been briefly alluded to above, the most visible barrier that a successful Card Room or Poker Room is the availability of reals estate. These businesses need land, they need parking lots, and they need access to well-maintained roads and infrastructure. The real-estate needs to be zones in such a manner that these businesses can operate late nights or even 24 hours, if needed. Successful businesses will also need the ability to offer food, and beverages, and possibly even alcohol. The requirements for this mean that they typically are looking for larger parcels of land, with open and available parking and not just any open building next to a given neighborhood.
Texas is a large, diverse and heavily populated state. The local values and norms fluctuate largely from area to area, region to region and district to district. The legislation being proposed would allow local communities the option to allow Poker operations to occur within their jurisdictions, or not. There is nothing in the proposed legislative packages submitted by Poker In Texas that would remove local control over the nature of what businesses are allowed to operate. Much like, even to this day, many cities and counties within Texas are “dry” or prohibit the sale of alcohol, so would the local counties be allowed to pass laws that restrict the ability of a Poker based business to operate within their area of jurisdiction. However, such regulation would also prevent the taxation of these businesses and the additional revenue and economic activities that poker based businesses will bring to an area.
Information and completely thought-out arguments are the most valuable resource that we, as advocates, possess in overcoming objections like this and the others addressed in this series of posts. While a calm and well-reasoned argument may not make every individual a supporter of our cause, it is definitely a better option than berating or mocking someone with a differing opinion and turning them into a vocal opponent.