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need some help

Discussion in 'Home Poker and the LAW' started by Bostonpokerchips, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Bostonpokerchips

    Bostonpokerchips Well-Known Member

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    Hi all.

    I would like to set up and host some type of regular "Legit" game, tournament style,
    in a very comfortable atmosphere with all amenities including food and beverages.
    Living in MA is not exactly conducive to me doing so as (like many states) there are laws against gaming (not run by the state of course)
    I am wondering what type of options I have at the moment and all I am getting handed are guides to setting up charity events (which is an absolute nightmares worth of work and effort) I have noticed that some restaurants and bar type establishments hold tournaments quite often and even go so far as to have a "Poker night" I have not had the chance to visit any as of this time and am wondering how it is handled.
    If anybody here is familiar with these types of issues please let me know what can/cant be done.
    Thanks!
    -paul
     
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  2. jmda

    jmda Well-Known Member

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    I am not familiar with MA laws, but if it is anything like KYs laws. The avenue for a legit or legal game is to hold one in a residence. A private game in a place of business is somewhat illegal in KY. There are ways around it. In KY a private club can rent space and hold poker games. Members would have to pay fairly large membership fees to cover expenses.

    I am aware of a local game that takes a rake to cover expenses, but that is actually a class d felony if caught in KY.

    Hooters and a few other bars here in the Louisville area held some tournaments that were well attended, but they were free entry and they could only give away prizes not money. I heard they were a little stupid, with no money on the line you can get some pretty bad play.

    I met a few local players through a local poker forum and have attended and hosted some great tournaments with them. That may be an avenue to meet and find places to play.
     
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  3. MeridianFC

    MeridianFC Well-Known Member

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    It's going to be very specific to your state. Laws very widely. Locally poker is completely illegal in DC but legal in VA (if you have less than $2K on the table, house takes no cut, no professional dealers, etc.). So any advice you get from someone in a different locality is going to be pretty much useless.

    Check these out:

    http://www.homepokergames.com/homepokerlaw.php

    http://www.gambling-law-us.com/

    Also there have been several discussions on this in Scott Keen's forum that are well worth checking out. You'll have to do a search as I can't remember the exact pages at the moment.

    http://www.scottkeen.com/forum/

    Scott actually went so far as to contact his local sheriff and ask. Given that what you're wanting to do is a charity event I'm sure that help sort you out with the straight dope. Than again in my dealings with the MA State Police.......I dunno. :wink:

    Good luck.
     
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  4. 99%evil

    99%evil Banned

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    In NH there are several "Charity" poker events, you can find a tourney almost everyday of the week in Manchester and Nashua. The tourney directors take a good portion of the entry fees for the charity and the directors "expenses" (which ends up being pretty big. This is the one downer, I played several single table tourneys, with $25 or $50 buy-ins. On the $25 tourney with 10 people $100 goes to the house, better to play on-line.

    If you can find a private location and you don't have the house getting anything you should be in the clear. I think as long as all the money goes back to players you're in the clear, but Mass is a funny place.
     
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  5. BigKyle

    BigKyle Well-Known Member

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    All of the tournaments at bars around Eastern NC give away no money, just prizes. They don't have buyins or entry fees so they try to make money off people buying drinks and eating. Some tourneys are run for charity and giveaway prizes that are donated by local businesses. I would suggest that you run your home tournament with: no hired dealers (I sometimes pay a neighborhood kid or person who doesn't want to play a few bucks an hour to deal), no profit or rake of any kind, no asking for donations, only what goes on the table is what goes out of the table (payouts), nothing withheld (except maybe a bit for a kid dealer). Avoid really high stakes and rakes and I think you will be okay.
     
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  6. MSPatton

    MSPatton Well-Known Member

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    Here in Oregon local municipalities can override state laws.

    Oregon law only allows games in private residences and fraternal organizations.
    No business's whether opened or closed.

    One local city has passes an ordinance that allows games in business's with the
    following general rules.
    • City license of $50 per year required
    • Game has to be open to the public for viewing (no closed doors)
    • From 10am to 2 am only
    • No changes in pricing for players or other patrons as far as drinks or food
    • No house take or rake
    • Tournament stlye only
    • Capped buy in (think it was $100) re buys do not count as buy in
    It's a fun game playing in front of bar patrons who have seen the WSOP or WPT but
    don't really play. Lots of buzz.

    Actually playing today in a 32 person game.
    Got an extra seat or two if someone is close
     
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  7. jldecarlo

    jldecarlo Super Moderator
    Staff Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The oregon laws sound so . . . reasonable. Texas only allows play in private residences with no rake. Any charge for food or drink, even throwing money in a pot to cover beer, etc. can be construed as a rake.

    In Oklahoma (where my sister is a DA) any form of gambling, in home or not, is completely forbidden.

    L
     
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  8. jmda

    jmda Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but Oklahoma has a ton of Indian Casinos. WE are going to Tulsa in a couple of weekends, but my wife has now decided not to let me go and play :sad:. I even called and got a poker rate for a really nice room at the Cherokee, but no dice.

    Boston you are only 2 hours from Foxwoods :)
     
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  9. whitepotatoe

    whitepotatoe Well-Known Member

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    You need to not only find out your state laws, but also the city or town that you play in, because many times they have additional restrictions. Also, if you know any police, and they have regular police tournaments at officers houses, that can never be a bad thing.:wink:
     
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  10. cnw400

    cnw400 Well-Known Member
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  11. JM

    JM Well-Known Member
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    Baystatepoker.com runs most of those tourneys in our area Paul. There is no way to run a poker game in MA that has anything to do with cash unless it is for a charity. And even then it is subject to certain limitations set forth by the lottery commission (length of time, payouts, etc). For instance, they have to end after 5 hours. They can't pay cash over $100 as a prize, it has to be gift cards (they use amex gift cards for payments now). They used to pay cash prizes, but the state got cranky about it and made sure they knew they couldn't do that. When they were doing that, if it was over $600, they had to fill out tax forms, etc. The event had to be approved by the local town/police chief and there seems to be a limit on the number of times a single charity can hold a tourney in one year (looks to be twice). You can't even own a slot machine in the state unless it is an antique mechanical type and nevermind videopoker machines.

    The guys at baystate are very good at it, they've got it down pat and they are good guys as well. Most of the ones running it are officers on various departments around the area (I know a couple of them). You should talk to them about it, they were at one point interested in partners. If you want more info, drop me a pm.
     
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