Thread: Poker tourney legalities?

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    Full PFC Member esool's Avatar
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    Poker tourney legalities?

    If I hold a tournament at my house and I do not charge a rake of any sort I know I am ok legally speaking. But what if I hold a tourney at a restaurant/bar and the establishment needs to get paid?

    For instance lets say the entry fee is $125. $100 goes to the prize pool and $25 goes to the restaurant/bar, and I do not pocket anything. Am I ok or do I need bail money? Food is included but not drinks if that matters....

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    Swiper no swiping! stpboy's Avatar
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    Poker tourney legalities?

    As far as i know i think you are ok. Some establishments hold chess tournaments and scrabble tourny's and run it that way, why would poker be any different. Of course, dont take my word for it..see your friendly neighborhood legal counsel.

    stp
    I typically bet that my luck is better than your skill.

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    Full PFC Member Graham's Avatar
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    Poker tourney legalities?

    I dunno...I think gaming in public might be the catch..may need a permit, but I'm far from certain on that.

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    Poker tourney legalities?

    The best advice I can give is ignore the rest of this post and speak to a lawyer about it.

    [pause]

    Okay, if you're still here, my (and I'm not even close to a lawyer) opinion is that even if you are not breaking the law yourself (which is questionable), the venue may come under legal scrutiny, since they are

    1. allowing a game of chance to take place in their establishment

    and

    2. profiting (via the $25 fee in this case) from the fact that this game is taking place.

    This seems to satisfy the definition of a "common gaming house" via criterion (b) (ii) from the Criminal Code, Section 197. Operation of a common gaming house is prohibited under Section 201.

    http://www.canlii.org/ca/sta/c-46/sec197.html

    http://www.canlii.org/ca/sta/c-46/sec201.html

    ScottyZ
    You've been training for this moment your entire life. The universe has been conspiring, if you think about it, to put you right here, right now.<br /><br />Off you go. We're all waiting on you.<br /><br />-from &quot;The Unit&quot; (episode written by David Mamet)

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    Full PFC Member esool's Avatar
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    Poker tourney legalities?

    I think I have a couple of ways to avoid any hassel.
    1) Do not post the location on an open forum, only the city and then email the address to those who are interested and have been on the forum previously.
    Or
    2)Structure it as a $100 buy in + a "donation" to the restaurant with a recommended $ amount.

    Then in the future the tourney's could be by invite only, friends of friends etc..

    I am sure this is more thought then necessary since I doubt the "gambling police" are watching this forum to make that big bust. :lol:

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    Poker tourney legalities?

    Don't try playing a Denny's, is my advice. They wouldn't even let us play Scrabble there, because it could have been considered "gaming".

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    Poker tourney legalities?

    Was that no-limit scrabble?

    Vowel re-buys?

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    Poker tourney legalities?

    LOL! That would be something else, wouldn't it? You could go "all-in" on a triple word score drawing hand. I wonder what other games we could "pokerize"...

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    Poker tourney legalities?

    2)Structure it as a $100 buy in + a "donation" to the restaurant with a recommended $ amount.
    I believe this is would still fall under the definition in Section 197 (b) (ii).

    Judges aren't going to buy "hiding" the house fees.

    ScottyZ
    You've been training for this moment your entire life. The universe has been conspiring, if you think about it, to put you right here, right now.<br /><br />Off you go. We're all waiting on you.<br /><br />-from &quot;The Unit&quot; (episode written by David Mamet)

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    Full PFC Member esool's Avatar
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    Poker tourney legalities?

    Alright.....How about I call it a stag? Anyone want to go to a stag? I think they will be playing cards there...... :D

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    Poker tourney legalities?

    According to my local Police Force, you better not bet your bail money. They tell me that if anyone is profiting directly or indirectly it's ilegal. For example, taking a rake, paying to get in, buying food, drink or anything from the house.
    I host many tourneys a year. They include a buy in but it covers the direct costs ie, chip rental, chair rental, and pizza. We keep receipts and any left over goes to the pot. It's also held at a residential location, and no one drinks and drives. The cops sit down the street.

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    Poker tourney legalities?

    Hmm, wouldn't winning be classified as profiting indirectly from hosting a poker event?

    That would be very popular, "the host MUST lose".
    Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.
    George S. Patton

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