Virginia tried to crack down on unlicensed poker. It’s still happening in the open
When a Hampton Roads-area kitten rescue lost its lawsuit challenging a new state law cracking down on unlicensed charitable poker, it seemed like the end for the handful of poker rooms that recently opened in Virginia.
But a poker room in Virginia Beach is back up and running, advertising on Facebook despite the new law that threatens civil fines of up to $50,000. The Facebook page for the Beach Poker Room went quiet when the law took effect in July, but the facility now says it’s opening daily and running tournaments three days a week with buy-ins ranging from $120 to $160.
Whatever’s happening at the Beach Poker Room could be against the law, according to legislators who led the push to shut down poker rooms until the state can get a better handle on overseeing them.
If it’s charity poker, said Del. Paul Krizek, D-Fairfax, it’s the same type of unlicensed activity the General Assembly wanted to stop by creating civil fines of $25,000 to $50,000 per violation. If the Beach Poker Room is avoiding charitable poker rules by dropping the charity aspect altogether, Krizek said, it’s no longer the type of poker Virginia legalized.
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