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South Carolina Could Sanction Poker

Bills that would legalise and define recreational poker in the state have passed through a Judiciary Committee paving the way for a full Senate vote next year.

Wednesday 27th May 2009

The American state of South Carolina, historically one of the most hostile towards the game of poker, has taken two steps towards legalising recreational games while explicitly defining illegal competitions. The South Carolina State Judiciary Committee recently ratified Senate Bills 535 and 628 by a vote of twelve to eight and the measures now look set for a full vote before the full Senate sometime next year. Bill 535 also outlines the process by which a non-profit organisation may obtain a gaming license, although it asserts that 90 percent of any monies raised in an event must go directly to charity. In February, five home poker players in the southern state were found guilty under a law from 1802 that, when read literally, makes it illegal to take part in any diversion played with cards or dice including board games such as Monopoly. However, Mount Pleasant Municipal Judge Larry Duffy ruled at the time that poker was a game of skill and not one of luck or chance, which prompted some legislators to take a second look at the antiquated legislation. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) poker advocacy group lobbied hard through its nearly 10,000 members in the state for a change to the law and commended the Committee for passing the two pieces of legislation. “The thousands of poker players in the state are now one step closer to being allowed to enjoy a game of poker online or with their friends around the kitchen table without the fear of being accused of a crime under outdated state laws,” said John Ridgeway, South Carolina State Director for the PPA. “With the continued rising popularity of poker across the country and the state of South Carolina, it is vital that any laws related to gaming not only reflect he realities of the 21st Century but establish a clear definition of what constitutes legal gaming and what constitutes illegal gaming,” said John Pappas, Executive Director for the PPA. “These two bills achieve those goals and we urge the South Carolina Senate to quickly bring these pieces of legislation to the floor for a vote before the end of the session.”

Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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