Some Connecticut bar owners have used the rising popularity of tournament poker to attract customers, but state officials say that could be violating gambling laws and Indian casino agreements, reports the Stamford Advocate. In Stamford alone, at least three bars have started tournament poker games in recent months. Players are charged a fee–$20 or $40, typically–that is divided among the winners.
Stamford bar owners said they were told by the state’s liquor control division that the games were legal as long as the bar was not taking a cut of the pots. But Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said that may be stretching the law. He said officials are investigating the poker games. And the state’s division of special revenue, which regulates casino gambling, said the barroom poker violates agreements that allow only Indian casinos to run most commercial games, including poker.