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Poker Establishment--Possible?

Discussion in 'Home Poker and the LAW' started by beekeeper, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. beekeeper

    beekeeper Creativity Alliance

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    Well, at the risk of opening myself to ridicule, I wonder if anyone has any knowledge of the following topic.

    A friend of mine from poker and I have a similar daydream--of opening our own private poker establishment, an actual location that runs poker games. As far as I know, in Wisconsin, only Native American tribes have the legal right to run poker games. This friend of mine, who can sometimes talk outright nonsense, says that he has his son, a cop, "watching the statutes," regarding private citizens running poker houses. According to this friend of mine, this issue has come before the state assembly and some kind of law/resolution could be passed allowing this to happen.

    Well, I don't really believe him on this matter, but he's got me interested.

    Does anyone know what legal entity has jurisdiction over such issues, and whether any states other than Nevada allow private citizens to own a poker establishment?

    I'm asking strictly about a private poker club, where members would pay a fee that would cover the overhead, but there would not be a rake on the games and there would be no games, such as blackjack, where the house is a player in the action.
     
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  2. Slagar

    Slagar Well-Known Member

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    The state legislature is what you want to watch. Most gambling laws are at the state level, though some may be at the local level.
     
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  3. OnTheButton

    OnTheButton Well-Known Member

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    The only thing that I can say about this is that you'd better have a LOT of money to even consider doing this in the proper way.

    Even if you find the way to legally start a card house in your area, (private or not) you have to have a gambling license, (and possibly liqour, and food service licenses to serve your friends legally) which I have come to learn are not all cheap or easy endeavors. Dealers are not low level employees (and you want good ones if you go that route) and you would also need cooks, runners, managers, security personell and a whole host of staffing just to even open the doors. And that does not include the equipment (tables, chairs, security systems, etc.) that all has to be in place before you open.

    Here in California, there are "pockets" of areas that allow card rooms to be started, so you can't just open one in a strip mall or business park. And in the areas that you are legally allowed to start a card house, you would be setting up shop right next to a group of competitors from day 1... But since your thoughts are for a private room, you would not have the worry of competition.

    It's a fun thought, I've dreamed about it too. But sans winning the lottery or being the next inventor of the Pet Rock, I've pushed it out of my mind after doing about a week of research on it.

    If you just want to have a private card room, then I would keep it that way. Private. Rent an apartment, or some other kind of "residential" dwelling and stick to the laws you know are OK in your area for home games. Once you rent actual commercial space, a whole host of regulations come under your responsibility (like serving beer) and things can get really complicated for the lessors of the building, and owners of the "company" (probably a corporation) you would need to start to do this correctly.
     
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  4. PocketRocket

    PocketRocket Well-Known Member

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    Since it is a state jursidictional issue, your state authorities would be the best people to consult. In most states there are no laws that prohibit card games in private membership clubs as long as the club isn't being operated solely as a gaming establishment (social clubs, country clubs, lodges, fraternal organizations, etc.) Though even those organizations have to obtain permits for things such as the on-premise sale of liquor and food service. I don't think any government agency is blind to the fact that a few dollars may exchange hands on a golf course (country club) on any given afternoon, but if the course were to take a cut of the action, that would be a whole different ball game.

     
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  5. Vitesse304

    Vitesse304 Well-Known Member

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    check a thread on the 2plus2 forums...funny stuff about some kids wanting to start a casino in their house and take a rake...

    As for the legalities...good luck. So much is in the grey area.

    In CO, it seems like laws change from town to town! Even fundraising tourneys have been shut down, and some have run!

    I think greasing the wheels or knowing the right people will help.
     
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  6. OnTheButton

    OnTheButton Well-Known Member

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    Was that the one where he was going to have his mom cook and serve food to the players?

    That one was fricken hilarious!
     
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  7. PocketRocket

    PocketRocket Well-Known Member

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    Really!? I've gotta go and find that thread.
     
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  8. beekeeper

    beekeeper Creativity Alliance

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    I lost this thread b/c I forgot what forum I posted it in!

    Well, I'm debating emailing my state rep. Someone on 2+2 told me to get a lawyer first. Many 2+2ers compared me to the kid who wanted to run a home casino. :)

    Right away I decided not to have a kitchen, at least not at first. I also thought getting a liquor license would be necessary, but maybe not a beer license. Thinking about serving beer got me wondering whether I'd need a bouncer or something. The biggest expense, I agree, would be to get quality dealers. That and liability insurance.

    Basically, I agree with everything OnTheButton says. I guess this will be just another "I hate my real job so I'm going to fantacize about my dream job" that will eventually give way to the next one.
     
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  9. Vitesse304

    Vitesse304 Well-Known Member

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    from your sig, your located in Wis...

    Well, I can guarantee that it won't happen. Only indian casino's, and a few underground card rooms.

    ask your statesman, or local law enforcement...I'm almost positive you'll get the same response. No.

    Unless state, or federal law changes soon, which it won't...us cardplayers won't have any chance of owning our own card rooms, or playing at a place where the rake is beatable!
     
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  10. PocketRocket

    PocketRocket Well-Known Member

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    May I ask why not? All it takes is the financial resources, a clean police record, and a location where you can get licensed. Getting a competent staff and keeping the place profitable with an effective business plan might be more of a challenge though. Also helps if you have a bit of experience in the industry (not just as a player).

     
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