Private Poker Game Costs Man $3,000 Due to Canada’s COVID Restrictions

3 min read

A private poker game has cost a 37-year-old Canadian more than he bargained for following a late-night police raid.

British Columbia police
A 37-year-old from British Columbia, Canada, has been fined CA$3,000 for hosting a private poker game. (Image: Lake Country Calendar)

Officers stormed the unnamed man’s home at 1am after receiving an anonymous tipoff. Upon entering the property in Kamloops, British Columbia, they found a group of people playing poker.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Superintendent Syd Lecky said the man was fined CA$3,000 for breaching COVID-19 guidelines.

Poker Game Deals Man Bad Beat

Ten people were involved in the home game. Hours before, Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia Dr. Bonnie Henry set out a new series of COVID restrictions.

One of the restrictions is a ban on people gathering inside someone else’s residence. The Canadian poker player reportedly had nine people in his home game and became “uncooperative” when police arrived.

In addition to breaching COVID orders, the man hadn’t provided “sanitation stations” or any other prescribed safety measures. Even if he had, he was still in breach of the latest restrictions by inviting other people into his home.

Alongside a CA$2,300 fine for contravening a “gathering and events order,” the 37-year-old must pay an additional $700 for obstructive behavior.

COVID Restrictions Bite Again

COVID-19 infections rates have been on the rise in British Columbia. Recent days have seen the number of “incidences” surpass 5,400.

Of the province’s 5 million residents, 48 deaths were attributed to COVID-19 last week. Sixty five percent of those deaths (31 people) were residents living in a care home, 90% of whom age 70 or older.

This isn’t the first time a poker player has fallen foul of COVID-19 restrictions. Soccer star Marcos Rojo was caught out in Argentina during the early stages of the pandemic. Prior to that, youngsters in the UK were busted for hosting a poker party during a national lockdown.

The strain put on communities by COVID restrictions is starting to show. Recent protests in the UK have mirrored those across Europe, and suggest levels of discontent are building.

A recent study published in Public Health showed that the “stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate.”

Irrespective of the emerging data, the Canadian poker player broke the law and should have hosted his home game online. For that, he’ll now pay a price much greater than any bad beat would have cost him.

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