Friday, December 24, 2004

Big update on Poker at Harrah's Cherokee

According to the Charlotte Observer's article on Monday, the opening of a new poker room at Harrah's Cherokee is still a bit up in the air. The Cherokeebelieve it can add live poker tables under its current compact with the state of North Carolina, which allows the tribe to operate the only legal gaming casino in the state. Gambling opponents aren't so sure, and Gov. Mike Easley hasn't taken a stand (typical).

Here is where it stands:
Harrah's spokeswoman said live poker tables would be OK as long as the winnings are split among the players with no cut for the casino. That falls under the definition of a Class II game and those are allowed by the compact. If the house kept a portion of the winnings, called "the rake," as many casinos do in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, that wouldn't be allowed under the current deal. Casino poker with no rake - it better be a big room.

Gambling opponents believe it doesn't matter whether the casino makes a profit or not. Federal law allows the Cherokee to offer games only if they're already authorized in some form by state law according to a spokesman for the N.C. Family Policy Council, a socially conservative research and education group.

Easley's office said any decision on whether the casino can operate a live poker room under current regulations would have to come from the National Indian Gaming Commission. A spokesman for the commission confirmed the Cherokee interpretation that Class II games would not require an amendment to the compact, but didn't know if the Family Policy Council's objection would prevent the tribe from opening a poker room.
You can read the whole Charlotte Observer article at

Just from reading this, it's looking pretty good. It may come down to how much noise the NCFPC can make and will anyone care. It is happens and with no rake, this could be one of the best poker games in the country.

More news will be coming soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would have to think that this would operate like the California Card Clubs, where every 30 minutes a bell rings and everyone currently at a table has to give $3 to the house (it's been a little while since I played in CA, so this may have changed). That way, they're not 'raking' the game, but they are still compensated. This provides great incentive to play the game as quickly as possible.