Originally Posted by pokersmiley
Evidently you have not ran a home poker game if you think I am making money at $1 pot. Add it up, we cook a meal every night, have all and every kind of soda, snacks, candy, popcorn, cookies, and the like that you would ever want, increased utility bills, Copag cards that stay in new condition, clay poker chips, nice tables, nice comfortable chairs, etc. etc. You add up the expenses and I'm not getting rich here.
As to everyones else's replies thank you for the input. I would assume that if this was not a rumor then my local police chief would be aware of the situation and according to him would tell me. Heck he wants to play but thinks it would look bad since he is the chief in the bible belt.
The Georgia game bust is no surprise as Georgia is very strict on gambling in general, you can't even have a home slot or video poker machine, which in a lot of states is perfectly legal.
Keep up the comments and suggestions and THANX IN ADVANCE!
This post is almost a year old, but I came upon it today and thought I would share my feelings for what it's worth. Maybe even spark up some discussion...
Any unlicensed game with a rake is illegal in most states (perhaps all). You argue that the 'rake' is covering the food / beverages / supplies / electricity. The Copag Cards, clay chips, nice poker tables and chairs are not things you can legitimately 'rake' on because when everyone goes home for the night, those supplies still belong only to YOU. Consider this: if you sold all of your poker equipment, would you divide all of the profits among your guests? I think not. In effect, the end result is that YOU are PROFITING from the monies collected in the rake.
In my opinion at least, the fact that you would have your guests pay for your electricity is disturbing. This sounds like a 'business' more than a bunch of 'friends'.
If you look at this as a business, and your guests are 'patrons', you might think twice about using your personal residence for such enterprises. Lots of heated arguments and drama can come off of a card table, and from time to time people will go home broke - can you sleep at night knowing that the safety of your home could be at risk because someone you hardly know wants to burn your house down? If there are minors around, it will even further complicate things if the law does get involved.
Alternately, if your guests are 'friends', I hope they charge YOU for using their electricity when you are over there watching football or having dinner, and by your reasoning they should charge you for the depreciation to their couch/chairs when you sit in them and their floors when you walk on them. After all, just as you wouldn't buy a poker table and chairs if you had no one to come over, they wouldn't have purchased extra chairs if they didn't have you and others over.
Since you are friends with the law in your area, I wouldn't worry at all about your situation. Even if somehow your game is discovered (from what I hear it usually involves a stabbing, fire, fight, gunshot, robbery, ect..), first offenses are almost always misdemeanors or felonies that get plead to misdemeanors.
If you really WANT to play it safe, determine how much an average night brings in, and divide that amount evenly among the attendants, charging them at the door making sure they understand it is for the food, snacks, and drinks. My gut feeling? I don't think you really want to play it safe, I think you just want to convince us that you are not profiting from this routine, and I would even go as far as to say you are trying to convince yourself.
For what it's worth, I have hosted my own game for over four years now as well. I also make a full home-cooked dinner and have all the nice amenities that make some casino poker rooms look bad. I have the Copag cards and Shuffletech Shuffler, custom ASM chips, the drop-box and Money Paddle, over-sized poker tables, dedicated chairs, and draught beer / hard liquor all at no cost / rake. I am the only dealer, and I do not play in my own games. I do it purely for the fun of poker and to spend time with my family / friends / coworkers.
But let's be honest with each other, according to your testimony, you have poker 2-3 nights a week and I can realistically assume that you flop a MINIMUM of 200 hands per evening. That comes to $26000 per year - TAX FREE! You are arguing that your patrons are paying $26,000 a year for snacks, candy, soda, popcorn, cookies, and a home cooked meal. Yes, they are *really* there to play poker, but by law you cannot 'charge' them for your supplies or for the game itself.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not condemning what you are doing - I am all for it! You have found a need for a card room in your community and you are providing a service to local gamblers. They are happy to pay the rake in turn for playing the game - plus your rake is highly favorable to a rake any casino could offer. But let's call it what it is: an illegal underground card room that you are profiting from because you take a rake. To convince anyone you are not making money is ludicrous.
If I were you I would leave things just the way they are, but forget about cooking dinner - no one is there to eat even if they say they are. The gratitude you get from your guests is not worth the trouble you put into the meal.