The Fight: SC and WY Consider Home Poker, State Debt Key to Online Poker?

This week on “The Fight” South Carolina and Wyoming move forward on home poker legislation, and could the looming financial crises in individual US states affect possible online poker legislation?

Last week, a South Carolina Senate committee tabled legislation that would amend an 1802 law prohibiting the playing of dice and card games in the home. The matter was brought up again this week and the Senate Judiciary Committee voted by a 15-6 measure to move a piece of legislation to be considered by the state Senate. The bill, S. 254, allows for the playing of games involving dice and cards in the home as long as the host of the game does not take a portion of the earnings. The bill also states the players involved in the game have a “bona fide social relationship based on a relationship other than gambling exists”. Opponents of the bill worried that the bill could allow for the return of video poker to the state after it was banned in 1999.

In the West, Wyoming is also attempting to make casual home games legal with HB 188. The one-sentence bill adds a definition similar to the “bona fide social relationship” in the South Carolina bill that allows for people to gather to play poker without fear of being raided by the police.

Elsewhere, BLUFF writer Paul “Dr. Pauly” McGuire has blogged about how the state municipal debt problem has caused states to consider several unorthodox methods of raising revenues. Legalized marijuana, selling parking meters to Middle East countries, intrastate online poker and gambling are just some of the more creative choices mentioned. However, he also notes that a bill in the US Congress could allow states to declare bankruptcy as a way of getting out from the overwhelming debt. Anything Pauly writes is a worthwhile read, so check it out!

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Kevin Mathers

Widely known by his twitter handle "Kevmath", many consider Kevin a go-to source for news and information in the poker community. Kevin finished on the bubble in the 2014 edition of the BLUFF Power 20.
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