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Crime & Law
Supreme Court could decide legality of poker games
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Supreme Court could decide legality of poker games

Supreme Court could decide legality of poker games

Supreme Court could decide legality of poker games

Fifty-five million Americans play poker, but now the Supreme Court could weigh in on whether your basement poker game is a federal crime.
 
Under Georgia law, betting on hands of poker, even around your kitchen table with friends, is illegal.
 
Robert Costner regularly hosts poker parties for as many as 100 people in Virginia, a state where it's legal to play for cash at home.
 
“Why does the federal government care?” said Costner. “It's not organized crime. It's not the mob, it’s just some guys getting together having fun.”
 
But the Supreme Court could soon step in. The feds busted and convicted a New York man for running a poker game in the back of his bicycle shop. He's now appealed to the nation's highest court.
 
The case could impact everyone who likes to play a little poker with friends.
 
“I would hate to have what I’m doing here, playing poker, determined to be a federal crime,” Costner said.
 
The bike shop owner's attorneys claim poker shouldn’t be classified as illegal gambling because it's a game of skill.
 
“The only way you can consistently win money is by skill,” Costner said.
 
But Justice Department lawyers don't buy that argument, saying in their brief to the Supreme Court, "Courts have long held that poker contains a sufficient element of chance to constitute gambling."
 
Laws about poker and whether it's legal at home or in a private club differ from state to state. A Supreme Court decision could change that.
 
The Supreme Court will decide on Friday whether it will take on the case.

Read More
  • A woman was recently arrested for allegedly embezzling nearly $9,000 from a Broken Arrow Mazzio's. Police report Diana Pruett confessed to processing false refunds when customers used cash. She would then pocket the money. One resident we spoke to says Pruett is hurting the community by her actions. “It’s really sad when you feel like you can depend on the people that live in our community to be fair and honest,” the resident said.  “We’re all in this community together. “ She was discovered, when a manager noticed something suspicious with the number of returns and refunds at the store. Pruett was booked into the Tulsa County Jail and has since bonded out.  
  • We have updated information regarding a clerk getting fatally shot on Friday at the S&K Food Mart near East Virgin Street and North Sheridan. Following a standoff that lasted a few hours, police confirm three people have been taken into custody at an apartment complex near 31st and Garnett.  One of those suspects wasn’t involved in the standoff.    Police tell us the clerk didn't deserve to have this happen to him. “It’s never good when someone is dead,” TPD said  “It’s senseless.  For very little gain.” It's believed one or more of the suspects may also be responsible for a robbery at a bakery near 11th and Lewis around the same time. As of early Saturday morning,  no names have been released.  
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  • If you have outdoor plans for Saturday, you will need an umbrella and a good pair of rain boots. National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Lacy tells us most of Saturday will be a rain out. “Pretty good chance for rain, about 100 percent,” NWS said.  “Especially, during the early part of the day.”   We also have a chance for severe weather.   “The main threat should begin to shift to the east and south of Tulsa,” NWS said.   The high for Saturday will be around 73 degrees. There is also rain in the forecast for Saturday night and Sunday.  
  • Police were called to a the S&K Food Mart Friday evening near Virgin St. and Sheridan. Police tell FOX23 the clerk was hit and killed. No one else inside the store was injured. No word yet on the clerk’s identity or any suspect information. Tune to NEWs102.3 and AM740 KRMG for updates.