Cops Cracking Down On Illegal Poker Games


Poker’s growing popularity has prompted greater scrutiny by law enforcement agencies, says USA Today. arrests and crackdowns are taking place from Baltimore and New York to Monterey, Ca. In October, a business group in San Jose was warned that a poker tournament to raise money for a library would reak the law. It isn’t illegal in most states to play poker at home among family and friends, but running a game and making a profit is often a crime, says I. Nelson Rose, a professor at California’s Whittier Law School. “There are different sets of laws for players as opposed to the operators. Most of the time, players are not breaking the law. Most of the time the operators, if they are running it for profit [are]”

Poker has become so widespread that some may not realize that they are committing a crime. In what Baltimore police said was the largest such raid in their city since 1932, 75 people were cited in November for playing in a poker game advertised in the local newspaper. Gambling is illegal in Maryland unless the proceeds go to charity and the operator has a permit, says Baltimore prosecutor Patricia Deros. Some lawmakers and fundraisers say it’s time for the laws to catch up with the times. “Changes in the law always trail changes in society,” Rose says. “The laws dealing with gambling date from an era when there was a complete prohibition.”


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