I know I'm just paranoid. But am I just paranoid? (1 Viewer)

seacuke

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So I've lived in South Carolina for about 4 years now. At one point in my past (for about 6 years) while living elsewhere, I hosted a regular home NLHE tournament series and always enjoyed the art of running a fun, well attended game. I've been kicking around the idea of resurrecting the game, but someone pointed me at the gambling section of the state constitution once and it seems insanely harsh. (Excerpt posted below):

If a 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) a game of cards or dice, (b) any gaming table, commonly called A, B, C, D, E, O, or any gaming table known or distinguished by any other letters or by any other figures, (c) roley poley table, (d) rouge et noir, (e) any faro bank, (f) any other table or bank of the same or 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 whilst when there is no betting on any such game of billiards, bowls, backgammon, chess draughts, or whilst or shall bet on the sides of hands of such as do game, upon being convicted thereof, before any magistrate, shall be imprisoned for a period not exceeding twelve months and forfeit a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars, for each and every offense…

I guess what I'm asking is... should I even be worried? If I post for players for my home game game on some social media somewhere - it doesn't take much for my idle mind to wander to dark places where someone from the Law shows up at my door.

Even typing that out I feel like a fool. But when I get to really pondering it, I feel like less of a fool.
I'm guessing that the saving grace is that it wouldn't be in a place whose purpose is gaming. (If I understand that first sentence correctly). It's a house whose purpose is living, and occasionally hosting a friendly gathering of like minded card players.

Thoughts?
 
Personally, I just don’t see how a small stakes, casual, for fun home game is going to attract the attention of the cops.
 
Haven’t found anything suggesting the SC legislature changed the law, and Westlaw doesn’t red flag the relevant decision as overturned or abrogated by statute. So…
Any additional convictions since?
 
Rathole a deck of cards if you get busted, apparently prison is the one place it's not prohibited in your state! :)

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Home poker games technically illegal in many states. In some states jaywalking is illegal. They say possession is nine tenths of the law, I say enforcement is nine tenths of the law. To get a poker game raided you need both someone to care enough to report it to the police, and the police to have some reason to care about a home poker game. I would be astonished if they busted an unraked $20 buy-in tournament.

If I post for players for my home game game on some social media somewhere - it doesn't take much for my idle mind to wander to dark places where someone from the Law shows up at my door.

Don't post anything on social media. Keep invites strictly in person or through texts/direct messages.
 
Speed limits are set for safety. Police routinely write literally thousands of speeding tickets every day. Does that make anyone safer? Enforcing laws for the sake of enforcing laws is stupid imho. If it really matters, make it illegal to manufacture a car that will go faster than the highest speed limit. If you have to go faster than that, call a specialized vehicle, like an ambulance. What if, what if, yada yada yada, there’s no reason anyone on earth except a race car driver in a race track needs to drive a vehicle 120 mph.

Off track here I know, but the same applies - seems like days in prison and thousands of dollars in fines is better for you than a night of penny ante gambling.
 
Many states or cities will allow laws prohibiting home games to stay on the books, but don't really enforce them unless something outrageous happens. My state is this way. Home poker is strictly illegal, but there's lots of home poker.

I worked as a police officer for 25 years, and knew people played poker for money. (The local volunteer firemen were notorious.) My agency never raided a game, and if I ever suggested arresting people for playing home poker, they would have sent me for psych eval.

I was once invited to play in a cash game with the chief of police, two senior police officers, the fire chief and a state magistrate who, ironically, would be the judge who would arraign the rest of us at court if we were arrested for playing. The game was too rich for me, so I passed.

Back in 2008, one game in a private home in Middletown, Delaware, got raided by the state police, but they had high-rollers bringing $10,000 to the game, valet parking with tons of cars clogging up the development and topless waitresses selling drinks, so they were breaking several other laws beyond gambling. Eventually, someone reported them -- somebody who didn't get invited, no doubt.

In the U.S. right now, 44 states have some kind of licensed casino. And casinos often oppose any effort to legalize home poker, since they see it as cutting into their revenue. And casinos contribute to the campaigns of elected officials. It's all very convenient for them -- and corrupt.
 
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Also on South Carolina law books:

•It's illegal to play pinball under 18
•You can't buy silverware on Sunday
•Men can go to jail for seducing a woman while promising marriage
•Dancing at a club must end at midnight on a Saturday
South Carolina sucks!
one game in a private home in Middletown, Delaware, got raided by the state police, but they had high-rollers bringing $10,000 to the game, valet parking with tons of cars clogging up the development and topless waitresses selling drinks, so they were breaking several other laws beyond gambling
Delaware Rocks!
 
If view it like doing 10 mph over the speed limit. Unless I’m drunk or I have a hooker in the car, I’m not really worried about the 1 in 1,000 chance that I’m gonna get pulled over for that minor infraction.
If you’re clean (no drugs in the house, you haven’t been cheating on your taxes, etc) why would you worry about your home game getting busted? Even in the crazy chance that it actually happens, how bad could the penalty be?
 
Back in 2008, one game in a private home in Middletown, Delaware, got raided by the state police, but they had high-rollers bringing $10,000 to the game, valet parking with tons of cars clogging up the development and topless waitresses selling drinks, so they were breaking several other laws beyond gambling. Eventually, someone reported them -- somebody who didn't get invited, no doubt.

Any chance you can get me into this game?
 
I have sometimes had the fantasy of renting a storefront on the main street of the nearest town, hanging out a shingle saying POKER ROOM, and daring the authorities to arrest me…

Or maybe in the neighboring county, where the D.A. has played poker for years…

It would take some planning. Get a crackerjack, crusading lawyer. Line up political support in advance.

Line up expert witnesses in advance. Historians knowledgeable about the cultural importance of poker. Academics who can testify about probability.

Gather statistics about how much “illegal” poker is played every moment of every single day… with far fewer crimes arising from those activities than, say, your average sporting event.

Structure things in a smart way (e.g. a membership club with charitable purposes). Have an educational component—we’re studying statistics, don’t you know.

Foreground the idea that poker is not a game of chance like bingo or roulette.

Have players sign forms before playing, attesting that they understand that there is variance in poker but that skill prevails over time.

Set up a Go Fund Me for poker players to support the cause celebre so you can exhaust all legal angles and appeals.

Goal: To get poker legalized via a high court decision.
 
If view it like doing 10 mph over the speed limit. Unless I’m drunk or I have a hooker in the car, I’m not really worried about the 1 in 1,000 chance that I’m gonna get pulled over for that minor infraction.
If you’re clean (no drugs in the house, you haven’t been cheating on your taxes, etc) why would you worry about your home game getting busted? Even in the crazy chance that it actually happens, how bad could the penalty be?
Or like the bank over valuing your property lol ;-)
 
Speed limits are set for safety. Police routinely write literally thousands of speeding tickets every day. Does that make anyone safer? Enforcing laws for the sake of enforcing laws is stupid imho. If it really matters, make it illegal to manufacture a car that will go faster than the highest speed limit.
Problem with that approach is similar to how most people play pot-limit poker.

If cars were limited to 70mph, people would always be driving everywhere with it floored to 70mph, regardless if it made sense or not.
 
Go to other local home games and ask the local players if they've heard of any games getting busted.
 

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