PLAYERS:

Luckbox | Otis | G-Rob

About the Up For Poker Blog

Up For Poker Blog Categories:

2006 WSOP
2007 World Series of Poker
2008 Belmont Stakes
2008 Kentucky Derby
2008 World Series of Poker
2009 WPBT Winter Classic
2010 WPBT Winter Classic
American Idol 2009
B&M Poker
Bad Beats
Betting the Ponies
Bradoween
Craps
Disc Golf
Fantasy Sports
Frolf
G-Rob's Thoughts
Game Review
Home Games
Horse Racing
Internet Gambling Bill
Las Vegas
Lefty's Thoughts
Luckbox Last Longer Challenge
Luckbox's Thoughts
March Madness
Movie Previews
Movie review
NCAA Basketball
NETeller News
NFL Football
Online Poker
Online Sports Betting
Other Gambling
Otis' Thoughts
Pick 6
Playing For Fun
Playing For Money
PLO
Poker Blogger Tournaments
Poker Blogs
Poker in the News
Poker Law and Legal News
Poker Movies
Poker on TV
Poker Players
Poker Psychology
Poker Theory
Poker Web Sites
Pot Limit Omaha Strategy
Reading Material
Sports Betting
The Nuts
The Playboy Mansion
Tournament Action
Tuff Fish Appreciation Society
Tunica Tales
UIGEA
Underground Games
Up for Poker News
WPBT Holiday Classic Trip

Previous Hands:

December 2010
November 2010
September 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
December 2008
November 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003

Powered by:
Movable Type 6.3.7
Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

September 14, 2006

South Carolina poker and gambling case in court

by Otis

At long last, South Carolina's antiquated gambling laws are being challenged in court. Last year, some friends of Up For Poker were playing a friendly tournament in a neighborhood clubhouse when they were raided by a suburban swat team that didn't have any drug dealers to bust that day. Under 1802 South Carolina law, the guys could've been playing Monopoly and been charged with the same crime.

Now, a local attorney has taken up the case of five of the players and is currently appealing to the good senses of a local magistrate judge to take a hard look at the law and question how it can be that playing Euchre on a table in my local watering hole can be illegal.

The local players, one of whom likes to play big pots with AQ on an AK8 board, were charged with violating this part of the South Carolina gambling law:

SECTION 16-19-40. Unlawful games and betting.

If any person shall play at any tavern, inn, store for the retailing of spirituous liquors or in any house used as a place of gaming, barn, kitchen, stable or other outhouse, street, highway, open wood, race field or open place at (a) any game with cards or dice, (b) any gaming table, commonly called A, B, C, or E, O, or any gaming table known or distinguished by any other letters or by any figures, (c) any roley-poley table, (d) rouge et noir, (e) any faro bank (f) any other table or bank of the same or the like kind under any denomination whatsoever or (g) any machine or device licensed pursuant to Section 12-21-2720 and used for gambling purposes, except the games of billiards, bowls, backgammon, chess, draughts, or whist when there is no betting on any such game of billiards, bowls, backgammon, chess, draughts, or whist or shall bet on the sides or hands of such as do game, upon being convicted thereof, before any magistrate, shall be imprisoned for a period of not over thirty days or fined not over one hundred dollars, and every person so keeping such tavern, inn, retail store, public place, or house used as a place for gaming or such other house shall, upon being convicted thereof, upon indictment, be imprisoned for a period not exceeding twelve months and forfeit a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars, for each and every offense.

While you try to soak up the intricacies of the law (and start your Google search for whist), wrap your head around this section of the same law (my emphasis added).

SECTION 16-19-70. Keeping gaming tables open or playing games on the Sabbath.

Whoever shall keep or suffer to be kept any gaming table or permit any game or games to be played in his house on the Sabbath day, on conviction thereof before any court having jurisdiction, shall be fined in the sum of fifty dollars, to be sued for on behalf of, and to be recovered for the use of, the State.

Seriously, under a strict reading of this law, I can't play football with my kid during the Chiefs game this Sunday without fear of being fined. Reasonable people would say, "Well, the cops aren't going to waste their time busting you for a game of Pinochle." I'd say, "The cops have a lot of time to waste, apparently. Several of them were caught playing poker on shift a few months back." (Note: If you read that article, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. The game was poker.)

So, the current case is the one that has appeared in CardPlayer several times in the last year or so. It's a case that pretty much defines the silliness surrounding the Raging Assault on Poker's Emergence.

Based on what I know about the current case and the judge, I'd say there is a 35% chance the judge, Hank Mims, will take any sort of stand here. Hank is a reasonable guy and a little on the eccentric side, but probably doesn't want to get involved in the fight. That will likely mean the poker players will have to stand trial. This will not be the kind of thing you see on Court TV. It will be held in a small courtroom in Greer, SC and likely last for just a couple of hours.

The real action, if there need be any, will happen when the verdict comes in. Guilty or Not Guilty, this case will be headed for an appeals court faster than the Greer Swat Team can storm suburban clubhouse. It will be in that appeals court where the law and the people who support it will face the most important scrutiny. Simply put, no person who considers himself reasonable can read the South Carolina gambling statute and with a straight face declare it constitutional.

For more on the case, you can read today's article from the local daily news or the other article that ran yesterday after the hearing.

Perhaps my favorite passage from the entire hearing:

"As avid poker players, they knew Texas Hold 'Em was gambling, the records say. One of them had a license plate that reads, "THENUTZ," a poker term for the best possible hand, the prosecutors filing says."

Where's the wit of Wicked Chops Poker when you need it?

| Poker Law and Legal News