Tourney legality around holding poker tournaments outside of the home - hotel conference room etc. (1 Viewer)

utgtrash

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is it illegal to hold a non-charity tourney in a rented space, like a hotel conference room? asking the hotel isn't an option in this case because the owner is asking me. this is in Los Angeles county CA, but i'm curious in general as well. There will be no vig on entry fees taken, and expenses to run it will be paid by a sponsor who will not be handling any of the entry fees.

thanks for any informed feedback!
 

inca911

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Depends on your state. In prohibited states, gambling is gambling whether raked or unraked and technically illegal anywhere (although frequently not enforced or prosecuted, particularly if unraked).
 

mnebesny

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Depends on your state. In prohibited states, gambling is gambling and technically illegal anywhere (although frequently not enforced or prosecuted).
It may also depend on whether it's a for profit tournament or whether all the buyins are being paid out to the winner(s), similar to how the legality of a home game changes if you decide to rake it.
 

utgtrash

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no fees are taken out, so no rake/vig, all fees paid out to winners. expenses paid by a sponsor.
 

Gobbs

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These things differ not only by state, but by county and city, too. Best thing to do is to ask your local Sheriff's office.
 

chicubs1988

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Here's a link to CA gaming laws from the AG's website - https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/gambling/gambling-law-2021.pdf?

In CA, "social" card games at a private home or residence are not considered to be a "controlled game," and are thus legal. However, there shouldn't be any form of rake, either informal or formal, in order to keep it as a legal social game. Not sure how a hotel would fit into the parameters. You said there will be a "sponsor" which leads me to believe this is a bit more complicated. There are separate guidelines governing "charitable gaming" as well. The hotels best bet is to talk to a lawyer who handles gaming or government regulations. They can do the research and dig up the relevant case law.....I wouldn't recommend winging it and assuming everything is legal.
 

CrazyEddie

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As always:
  • No one can give you an answer because every jurisdiction has different rules. The answer is both "yes" and "no" and "yes, but..." depending on what state, county, and city you live in.
  • Even if someone here knows the actual answer for your exact jurisdiction, you are foolish to rely upon a stranger on the internet for anything other than amusement purposes and idle discussion. If the answer would affect your plans, then, considering that getting the answer wrong could cost you or someone you know a large amount of money and/or prison time, you should consult a knowledgeable, competent, trustworthy attorney who is licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. The answer is likely going to depend on details specific to your circumstances; an attorney will know how to ask you the right questions to learn those details, and someone on the internet will not.
Good luck with your game!
 
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