Gaming Control Board cracks down on local charity poker tournaments

The Palace Poker Room in Burton was shut down by the Gaming Control Board.

The Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce is searching for a new poker hall after The Poker Palace in Burton shut down--jeopardizing their December charity tournament.

â??We're not sure where we're going to get the money from and Iâ??m sure that the organizations that are affected by this are uncertain,â?? says Neda Payne, executive director of the Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce.

This shutdown comes as the Gaming Control Board tries to regulate charity poker tournaments.

â??We're not targeting anybody,â?? says Rick Kalm, executive director of the Gaming Control Board. â??In fact, we've tried not target charities from the beginning,â?? he adds.

Gaming control officials claim several charities and poker halls are stepping beyond their bounds, operating as mini-casinos.

â??There's no regulatory framework. No requirement for security, no requirement for background checks for dealers, no requirement for surveillance,â?? says Kalm.

Supporter of charity games like Neda say, just because you find one bad card in the deck, doesn't mean the entire hand is bad.

â??They need to deal with it on a case-by-case basis and I think that they're not taking into consideration the far reaching effect which is financially, going to be devastating for a lot of organizations,â?? says Payne.

â??Weâ??re trying to still allow charities to have an avenue--or non profits--- to conduct these games legally but they can't be conducted in the poker room casino environment because there are no laws to cover that,â?? adds Kalm.