Sunday, February 13, 2005

Joker Club Hearing in Durham Postponed to March

Here is a story in the Durham Herald-Sun that updates the lawsuit that is trying to force a ruling that Poker is a game of skill and thus legal in North Carolina:
Poker club in Durham is at stake
By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sunjstevenson@heraldsun.comFeb 12, 2005 : 11:57 pm ET
DURHAM -- A state attorney will put his cards on the table this week when he asks a judge not to allow a commercial poker club to open in Durham.
The Joker Club filed a lawsuit against Durham District Attorney Jim Hardin Jr. in November after Hardin said he would tell police to crack down on anyone who tried to open a gambling business in Durham.
These are the stakes:
Since betting on games of chance is a misdemeanor criminal offense in North Carolina, the club wants a judicial declaration that poker is a game of skill rather than chance. A hearing on the suit is scheduled this week, with the state Attorney General's Office representing Hardin.
The Joker Club also argues in court filings that the law prohibiting poker wagering is unconstitutional.
But the Attorney General's Office showed a strong opposing hand in recently filed court documents.
Assistant Attorney General David J. Adinolfi II said it is well settled in the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court that "poker is a game of chance, hence illegal."
"It is axiomatic that a Superior Court cannot overrule the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals ... ," Adinolfi wrote.
There is no statute, case or any other authority in North Carolina law that says, or even implies, that poker is legal, he added.
"It simply is not legal, and there exists no controversy on the subject," he wrote.
Durham lawyer Marcus Hill and Raleigh attorney Allen Powell represent The Joker Club.
"I think the attorney general's position is mistaken," Hill told The Herald-Sun. "Poker is not against the law. It is not gambling because it is a game of skill."
The Joker Club leased a building on Ferrell Road in November. It hopes to operate "a business that allows adult persons to play poker against one another and whereby [the club] will retain a portion of funds which are wagered by the players," court documents say.
But everything is on hold until a judge decides the chance-versus-skill question. ...
The entire article is available at

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