For anyone considering hosting a poker game researching the laws can not only be overwhelming, but the laws themselves can be complex and ambiguous. Other than professional poker venues, there are two main types of poker games: charity games and social games. Charity games are defined as those that will result in a monetary contribution being made to a specific charity. Social games are characterized by wagering between those who have a social relationship, and it is held in a non-public setting.
The laws pertaining to charity poker events are specific based on state. The Attorney General’s Office or Gaming Control Board is a great resource for guidelines to plan and organize a charity poker event. Adherence to the guidelines doesn’t guaranty the event will be held without interruption from law enforcement. In some instances, it only requires one complaining party to shut down what appears to be a legitimate fundraiser.
Hosting a social poker game can just come down to how much risk the host is willing to accept. In many states, local and state laws allow social poker games as long as the game meets certain guidelines.
A few of the more common guidelines are: all players are known friends, the host receives no monetary compensation, and the winnings of any player in a single round does not exceed a specific amount. There are some states that consider any form of social gambling illegal. This doesn’t mean that local authorities will break down the door, if a few buddies are having a friendly low stakes game.
In most states social gambling offenses are considered petty or misdemeanors. Penalties for violating the social gambling laws of the state can include a monetary fine, jail time, or both. Because charity gambling events usually involve a larger number of participants, the penalties can be more severe. Failure to comply with local charitable gambling laws can result in a hefty fine along with lengthy jail time.
Before hosting a charity or social poker event securing legal advice could help to avoid costly misunderstandings. Whether someone wants to pay for advice on the legality of a low stakes Friday night sbobet poker game depends on the level of risk that person is comfortable with. When hosting a community charity poker event, the financial investment of legal advice may well be worth it to prevent a loss to one’s finances or reputation.