Is That Poker Game You Have in Your Hudson Valley Home Legal?
So you are wanting to host a poker game in your home (maybe you are already doing so). You have your friends, you have the food, maybe you even have a little bit of a wager going on? But, can you legally do this?
Come on, the reason that I ask this is because New York State seems to have a law on the books about everything, but they don't exactly make sure that state residents know about these said laws.
So, is that poker game legal in New York? Well, what kind of a game is it?
Is this a casual game? Is there a small pot, maybe you are using pennies (yeah, right!), is there a big prize? Do you charge people to be in it? All of the answers to these questions weigh in on the legality of the game.
What is the definition of a 'Casual or Social Poker Game?'
A casual or social game is a bunch of people in someone's basement. No one is trying to become a millionaire because of that game, no one is trying to really profit off the game.
What is a rake, when it concerns poker, and what is the big deal about having one?
When it comes to poker, a rake is not that thing you use in the garden for weeds. A rake is a percentage of the pot, most often collected by the host for putting the game together. NYS law says, that the rake should not happen more than 5 times, otherwise this is no longer considered 'just a friendly game.' Then because of the rake, you will need licenses and permits.
So a friendly group of neighbors wants to play poker, can anyone get arrested for doing this?
More than likely, you won't get arrested for playing a simple game. When do people start getting arrested? When there is drinking and fighting involved. Remember, those simple games are simple as long as no one starts losing money, getting drunk, and then fighting. That being said, be smart, play safe, and have fun.