Restaurant Law Blog

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

State Liquor Authority Legalizes Poker in Bars and Restaurants? Well, Sort Of.

We all know that the ABC Law prohibits gambling in all restaurants and bars.  Recently, however, the question of whether poker should be banned as illegal gambling came before the SLA.  The long and short answer is no, but yes.  Confused?  So is everyone else.  For that reason the SLA issued a declaratory ruling outlining when poker gaming is authorized.  Here are the rules:

1. No fee, of any kind, is required to be paid by, or on behalf of, a contestant to participate in the game or tournament;

2. A contestant shall not be required to purchase anything from the licensee, or any other party, in order to participate in the game or tournament;

3. A contestant shall not be required to pay a fee to enter the licensed premises in order to participate in the game or tournament;

4. The price of food and beverages at the licensed premises during any game or tournament shall not be higher than the prices regularly charged by the licensee;

5. The licensed premises shall remain open to the public during any game or tournament with food and beverages available for purchase by non-contestants;

6. Each contestant shall be provided with the same number of poker chips and no additional chips may be purchased for use at the game or tournament;

7. No contestant shall have the ability to pay money to the licensee or any other party to gain benefits not provided to all contestants;

8. Any wagers or bets are to be made using chips or other tokens supplied free of charge to contestants;

9. Items #1 through #8 above shall be prominently displayed on signs publicly posted at the licensed premises and in written materials distributed to contestants.

James DiPasquale, Esq

DIPASQUALE LAW GROUP

Restaurant Law New York

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