Pubs put on notice about illegal poker incidents

LICENSED venues in the region have been put on notice, with the Capricornia District Liquor Enforcement Unit receiving reports about potential illegal gambling incidents, specifically involving Texas Hold' Em poker nights.

With legislation less than definitive about what can be considered gambling, Sergeant Paul Bennett, of the Capricornia District Liquor Enforcement and Proactive Strategies Unit, said licensees should be careful when it came to offering incentives for those playing poker at their venues.

"Some people have raised concerns that illegal gambling may be taking place on a number of licensed premises after players were being asked to pay an entry fee or obtain extra chips with a drink purchase," he said.

"Any requirement for players to outlay their own money as a condition of play or to obtain an advantage may constitute gambling."

Under the Criminal Code Act 1899, any licensee caught using their venue to conduct an unlawful game of poker would be committing a criminal offence under Section 232, which carried with it a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment.

Sgt Bennett said it was a reminder to licensees and tournament operators to ensure their practices were above board.



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