Another Poker Bust

Published on: April 17, 2008 

Could the world be looking at the end of the weekly poker game between friends at home or in a club when too much money is being thrown around?  It very well could be.  Sunday afternoon the police in Bangor, Maine, raided an establishment called the 24-Hour Club where they discovered thirty people playing poker around three tables covered in poker chips.  While this would not have normally been a problem and the police may have just politely busted up the game, the lack of gambling license turned the games into an offense.

Lt. David Bowler who is leading the special investigation group in this matter could clearly see that they were playing a Texas Hold ’Em tournament or some poker tournament."  The club in which the raid took place is a non-alcoholic establishment specifically for people who are recovering from or dealing with alcohol abuse.  In the state of Maine, anyone wishing to hold a gambling event that could more than $1,000 wagered in a single 24-hour period must get a gambling license before the event begins.  The licenses aren’t expensive, either: $5 a person with a maximum of 100 players who can bet no more than $100 a piece.  This fee can be added into the entrance fee by law and the host wouldn’t be liable for shelling out up to $500.

Bowler states that the ante for game participation was $100 with a single re-buy only if they fell below a certain monetary amount.  He went to state that over $6,150 in cash was seized and three of the thirty people at the club were the organizers.  They were not arrested but if a conviction over the illegal tournament should be handed down, they are facing felony charges.  Right now, Bowler and his staff are sorting though the evidence and getting it prepared for the DA’s office.

There is no indication as to who was going to make out on the game but it has been assumed that the money would go to help the members of the 24-Hour Club since the games were being held there.  Bowler stated that everyone was cooperative and that they were just there to play some cards, albeit illegally without the proper licensing.

Unlike the state of South Carolina where games of cards and dice is illegal thanks to a 200 year old law, Maine seems downright progressive.  Bowler claims that the state is attempting to put into effect a flat fee for the license because they realize that a proper head count for the game will not happen very often.  As long as the establishment the game is occurring in has a license, there is nothing in Maine law that says a poker tournament can’t take place.

All they need is the license.

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