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Wally_in_Cincy
01-03-2005, 10:43 AM
FAIRFIELD — Following a two-month investigation, Fairfield police were able to break up an illegal poker game that may lead to a license suspension for a local establishment.

Three men connected to Michael’s Billiards, 6625 Dixie Highway, were arrested and charged with gambling-related offenses, according to reports filed by the Fairfield Municipal Court on Dec. 7.

By the time officers and members of the Ohio Liquor Control Commission began the investigation in June 2004, Michael’s owner Rodney E. Fox, manager Walter Scott Van Horn and clerk James Christopher Addison had participated in an illegal Texas Hold ’Em game for six months, according to Sgt. Pete Lagemann of the Fairfield Police Department.

Because of his suspected involvement in the game, Fox was charged with operating a gambling house, a first-degree misdemeanor. Fox pleaded guilty Dec. 7 and was ordered to pay $125.

Both Addison and Van Horn pleaded to lesser charges of gambling, which is a minor misdemeanor. Each was ordered to pay court costs at $25.

Lagemann said the men were “raking money off the top” of betting pots in individual games and tournaments, all of which were held in the Dixie Highway pool hall. For every $10 that was placed into the pot, Fox received $2, the investigation found. It is not known exactly how much the owner netted from the game. However, Lagemann said the department seized about $500 in cash, which included $60 of the undercover officers’ money.

“It started out as just good money, but then it became part of the business,” Lagemann said of Fox’s intentions.
Because of the popularity of the game at Michael’s, it took some time for undercover officers to get into the game, officials said. Once in, the officers played with the group to add strength to their case. During that time, Fox also began to advertise for tournaments to draw a bigger crowd, authorities said.

Lagemann said Fox was cooperative during the entire process and even allowed police to investigate company computers and other paperwork.

“He admitted he made a mistake and was willing to make it better,” Lagemann said. “We didn’t have a lot of problems with him.”

Fairfield police Lt. Ken Colburn said it was the first time local officers had broken up an illegal game.
“It’s very rare,” Colburn said. “I don’t recall anything ever like that.”

Since the incident, Lagemann said Fox continues to be cooperative. However, more trouble could occur in the future when the owner submits its annual liquor license, officials said.

“They wouldn’t cancel his license for a first-time offender,” Lagemann said. “But they may suspend it. That’s what we believe.”

Michael’s Billiards is expected to be up for a license review this summer.

DavidMorris
01-03-2005, 10:54 AM
Well, the irony is amusing to say the least: a pool hall busted for illegal gambling... on poker. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I gather none of the undercover officers can play pool. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Candyman
01-03-2005, 11:07 AM
Our gambling laws are so antiquated. You know gambling is taking place on the pool table and yet they are busted for poker. Something is wrong with that picture. Doesn't our law enforcement have better things to do than charade in the pool room (like having their own poker game like they do in my hometown). You can invest money in the stock market and take a risk. You pay the broker his commission. If that isn't gambling, I don't know what is. I could have invested my World Comm stock in a poker game and wouldn't be any worse for the wear.

Popcorn
01-03-2005, 11:55 AM
The difference is them taking a cut off the top, It shows they condoned it and were involved, they can't plead ignorance, "I didn't know they were gambling". People are very stupid, they begin breaking laws they don't even know they are breaking escalating a minor crime into a big deal, ask Martha. They are charged with running an illegal gambling establishment not gambling. the may have license problems now, could have even broken federal laws by just using the telephone to arrange the games if someone was so inclined to investigate. If you are going to break the law you better know a little about the laws you may be breaking. In Florida they may even confiscate property. The guys running the game were idiots involving their business in it. They may have made a big mistake just to make a few dollars.

Wally_in_Cincy
01-03-2005, 12:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Candyman:</font><hr> Our gambling laws are so antiquated. You know gambling is taking place on the pool table and yet they are busted for poker.<hr /></blockquote>

The house take was what got them busted. You can run a NCAA tourney bracket or a football pool in Ohio as long as you are not taking anything out for the "house"

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Candyman:</font><hr> ...Doesn't our law enforcement have better things to do ... <hr /></blockquote>

Actually, in Fairfield OH, no they really don't /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

There is not much crime in Fairfield. I wish they would loan a few officers to Hamiltucky /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
01-03-2005, 12:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr>
...People are very stupid, ...

they may have license problems now,.... <hr /></blockquote>

They screwed up big. time. They are really going to have to keep their nose clean now. Michael's has always kept a low profile. The city fathers are unaware of all the money that has changed hands there.

The bar I play league out of was practically put out of business by Fairfield police over one underage drinking violation. They would run plates in the parking lot and come in and arrest people for outstanding traffic tickets and such and they would pull people over as they left the place.

Plus, even though Michael's serves liquor, there are a lot of teenagers that go there. You can bet the state liquor agents will be watching closely. If one kid takes a drink of beer from somebody's bottle there will be hell to pay.

Popcorn
01-03-2005, 12:56 PM
I will tell you a nightmarish story. There was a bar in my town where there was a lot of late night pool action, they were open till 6am. they got busted for football cards the bartender was selling. The had their license suspended for 60 days whitch in this place cost them over a $100,000. When they got their license back they thought it was over. When it came time to renew their license they found they lost the right to stay open till 6am and had to begin closing a 2am like everybody else. Turned that right for the extra hours was an added license granted by the city and not a part of the regular license and was not subject to renewal if they choose not to. With the lose of that late night license the place went under within a year because there were other places to go that did stay open late. At a point they had no more business not even early, it just stopped being the place to go. After 35 years that was it and all over $1.00 football cards. There can be a snowball like effect once things get started. Like I said some people are just stupid.

Popcorn
01-03-2005, 01:03 PM
It is easy to go on about the right or wrong of some laws and draw analogies, it makes for interesting conversation. You are however a fool if you break laws jeopardizing everything you have worked for your whole life just to make a few dollars. Don't like the laws, try to get them changed, but don't break them.

SpiderMan
01-03-2005, 01:36 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Candyman:</font><hr> Our gambling laws are so antiquated. You know gambling is taking place on the pool table and yet they are busted for poker. Something is wrong with that picture. Doesn't our law enforcement have better things to do than charade in the pool room (like having their own poker game like they do in my hometown). You can invest money in the stock market and take a risk. You pay the broker his commission. If that isn't gambling, I don't know what is. I could have invested my World Comm stock in a poker game and wouldn't be any worse for the wear. <hr /></blockquote>

Don't know about the locale relating to this story, but in Dallas the key would have been that the "establishment" was taking a percentage of the handle. The individual act of "gambling" is not illegal.

To my understanding, you don't get busted here for matching up at pool, for selling squares on a football game board, for running tournaments, or for hosting poker games with cash payout (this is becoming very popular locally). You and I can wager on anything, and we have not committed any crime.

The sticky point comes when "the house" starts to take a percentage. Then they are guilty of operating an unlicensed gambling establishment.

So, the bars around here sponsor cash payouts on contests of poker, darts, and pool, but their only "take" is the increased revenue from alcohol sales. Seems like a niggling point, but apparently that's the fine line separating the legal from illegal.

I would not, however, be surprised to see these bars getting hassled if their popularity takes noticeable business away from the "licensed gambling establishments" such as charity bingo or our state lottery /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SpiderMan

doncartmill
01-03-2005, 02:01 PM
The same is true in Ky. Gambling per se is not illegal, only when the establishment takes a cut. It can even get sticky if you are hosting a game and cut the pot to cover
food and drinks (It's a fine line). Better everyone should bring a cover dish ???

HOWARD
01-03-2005, 03:57 PM
In the past, I did read a newspaper article about
gambling on pool that went to the New York State Supreme
Court. The ruling was that since pool is game of skill
it was not gambling.

Howard

FastJoey
01-03-2005, 04:58 PM
All the time the Police are investigating these guys for playing cards gang bangers are out there burglarizing and hurting people...sounds like they need a new Police Chief and a new direction..............

UWPoolGod
01-03-2005, 05:21 PM
To my understanding, you don't get busted here for matching up at pool, for selling squares on a football game board, for running tournaments, or for hosting poker games with cash payout (this is becoming very popular locally). &lt;---SM

So it is not illegal to host poker tourneys at the bar? The bar I play out of has a $50/entry no limit sunday tourney every few weeks during the day and a pool tourney at night. I was a month ago for $450 but I kept looking out for the police coming in and catching us in the action.

Is that fine compared to 5 guys playing $0.25/$0.50 limit games during a pool tourney?

wolfdancer
01-03-2005, 07:12 PM
Lemme see now, after a two month investigation, they collected $175 in fines, plus $440 seized from the table....a tidy sum for all that work.
wonder how many class "A" felonies went unsolved during that period?

SpiderMan
01-04-2005, 08:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote UWPoolGod:</font><hr> To my understanding, you don't get busted here for matching up at pool, for selling squares on a football game board, for running tournaments, or for hosting poker games with cash payout (this is becoming very popular locally). &lt;---SM

So it is not illegal to host poker tourneys at the bar? The bar I play out of has a $50/entry no limit sunday tourney every few weeks during the day and a pool tourney at night. I was a month ago for $450 but I kept looking out for the police coming in and catching us in the action.

Is that fine compared to 5 guys playing $0.25/$0.50 limit games during a pool tourney? <hr /></blockquote>

I don't know about Washington, but in Dallas, TX, I believe the dividing line between legal and illegal gambling is the financial participation of the host. The bars around here that host weekly pool, poker, and dart tournaments take no money from the entry fees. Actually, many of the tournaments feature added money from the host, who makes it back off increased patronage (drink sales) from the participants.

I'm not a lawyer, so consider this hearsay until confirmed.

SpiderMan