Bay of Plenty poker tournaments

Originally Posted on Wednesday Jul 7 4:23:00 BST 2010

There have been some complaints in the Bay of Plenty region that some pubs and clubs may be holding illegal poker tournaments.

Poker tournaments have always been a popular attraction and they are perfectly legal if the people running the tournament do not pay or receive a fee.

The Internal Affairs Department gambling compliance director stated that, “Venues are making arrangements with specialist entrepreneurs who offer to run gambling activities such as poker games, with additional games of chance or lotteries, for a fee.”

Any venue found to be breaking the law in this way will risk a heavy penalty.

Although payment of fees are illegal, legitimate expenses are allowed to be reimbursed.

Most tournaments abide by the law, with organisers being careful to make sure total prizes do not exceed $500, with all stake money, except expenses, being returned to the participants.

If the event of the stake money going over $500 then the purpose of the gambling must be to raise money for charity or community projects, and must be correctly run by a society.

With Government Gambling Inspectors alert to the possibility of breaches in the rules, pubs and clubs will be careful not to be found breaking the law.

It may be easier for people interested in playing poker tournaments to play online poker.  There are many competitions available, catering for all levels of ability.  All are operated by offshore casinos, but most are well regulated in their country or origin and can be trusted to operate online games fairly and with integrity.

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