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Poker Tournaments in Public Buildings

Discussion in 'Home Poker and the LAW' started by farrell, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. farrell

    farrell Well-Known Member

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    I want to host a larger poker tournament than my house will hold. I've done up to 25 in my house but its so damn crowded. I want to move the tourney to a public place. My friends and I have had bachelor parties at a place near my house in the past and it would be a perfect location. What I want to know is: Is this legal? I would not be making any profit whatsoever, and the public would not be invited. I'm just worried that IF the police decided to see what was going on and stopped in that we'd be arrested.

    Is it legal to rent a public building and host a private tournament?
    I live in Michigan.

    Thanks for your input.
     
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  2. hachkc

    hachkc Well-Known Member

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    I believe the laws in Michigan usually make reference to a private residence where the host collects no money other than what he wins. You're probably in a gray area if the local law enforcement decides to make things difficult though. You should be fine as long as you are in no way collecting any money to cover any hosting costs, rental costs, supplies, refreshments, etc; this is usually where you get in trouble. Obviously, you need to be upfront with the owner of establishment to let him know what's going on; I would guess reputable establisments would probably be leery of hosting a card game. There was large game busted by the cops at some sort of hall in Clinton Twp a couple weeks back. There are some more details posted at www.scottkeen.com/forum about it.

    As always, consult a lawyer or local law enforcement if you are concerned.
     
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  3. farrell

    farrell Well-Known Member

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    Any idea where the info on Clinton Twp. can be found at www.scottkeen.com

    I heard about this raid, that's why I'm researching the legality. I was about to reserve the room to host the party.
     
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  4. hachkc

    hachkc Well-Known Member

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    http://www.scottkeen.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8916

    Don't know what sort of place you are reserving but if they serve any food or drinks and charge anything for them including just an entry fee, they can be in trouble. Suffice to say, any amount you charge as the host of this game including just expenses crosses the line into an illegal game. Possibly, the place you rent could even be construed as the "host" assuming you need to pay something in order to reserve the room.
     
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  5. farrell

    farrell Well-Known Member

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    After reading that story...it seems that particular individual was running from the law for a little while. I still think that my idea is not going to be in the best interest of the players and myself. I'd like to remain within the limits of the law and also keep it safe. At my home game a local cop and friend usually stops by, has some pizza and a coke, checks to make sure all is well and goes on his way. If there were any issue with our city he'd alert us and I'm sort of used to this safety.

    I guess I'll have to come up with another plan or move to a house that will accomodate the increase number of people we're getting for our tourneys.
     
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  6. hachkc

    hachkc Well-Known Member

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    Don't mean to scare you or anything but you can always ask the local law enforcement to see what they say. Just a simple phone call may clear it up.
     
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  7. farrell

    farrell Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry you're not scaring me, I just want to clear it up prior to organizing the event. I'd hate to get a bunch of innocent people to a hall and then have it end up in a bust.

    I will make an inquiry to see what the "law" says. Shouldn't be too difficult since the building is actually owned by the city.

    Thanks!
     
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