New York Sued for Right to Play Free Poker
If playing poker wasn't difficult enough in some states, there are jurisdictions that consider the card game illegal even if no money is risked by participants. New York is prominent among states that do not allow free poker tournaments to operate.
Now, the Free Poker Experience has filed suit against the state, saying that the statute is being misread, and that other activities of similar type are allowed by authorities. New York law says that "something of value" must be at risk in order for a game to constitute illegal gambling.
But free bar poker doesn't take wagers from customers. The leagues are supported by bar and restaurant owners, which pay a set fee to the service for providing entertainment to patrons.
If poker without real money bets is illegal, then Free Poker wants to know why bridge, chess, and other games played in public establishments are ignored by police. Benjamin Scheck, head of the Free Poker Experience, believes the authorities are engaged in selective enforcement.
Bar poker tourneys use part of the fee paid by the venue to provide prizes for players. Among prizes given are such things as entries into the World Series of Poker and other major events, as well as smaller things like shirts and poker merchandise.
Scheck estimated over 1000 bars and other venues would sign up for the service if the state considered the poker legal.
Free Poker currently operates in eleven states, and Scheck has asserted his organization will likely challenge other states in court if they block the free leagues.
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|Posted by: Mike||When: 11/25/2008 05:06:26 AM EST|
|It is a shame when old laws are misinterpreted in today's world.|
The poker is free...this is not a "cover up" to some big gambling ring. It's entertainment...a reason to go out and socialize.
I hope NY makes a change.