Friday, December 30, 2005

Houston Community Newspapers Online -State ruling brings charity poker runs to a halt

Houston Community Newspapers Online - The Courier - 12/29/2005 - State ruling brings charity poker runs to a halt: "Local motorcycle clubs and other groups who raise money by giving cash prizes in charity poker runs have had their bluff called by the Texas Attorney General.

In a ruling issued Tuesday, Attorney General Greg Abbott said such poker runs, which involve participants making a monetary donation to a nonprofit cause and then riding to a predetermined location and drawing a poker hand for cash, are a 'lottery' set up by the motorcycle club and constitute illegal gambling.
The Texas Penal Code defines a lottery as 'any scheme or procedure whereby one or more prizes are distributed by chance among persons who have paid or promised consideration for a chance to win anything of value, whether such scheme or procedure is called a pool, lottery, raffle, gift, gift enterprise, sale, policy game, or some other name.'
However, Abbott's ruling refers only to cash prizes awarded at the end of poker runs and notes that any nonprofit organization sponsoring a poker run where participants receive a five-card hand for each $10 donation they make to a charitable cause violates Chapter 47.03 of the Penal Code."

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