Archaic Gambling Laws

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During Prohibition, my grandmother (widowed) on my mother’s side made beer in a hidden room and sold it locally, until a neighbor snitched on her. My mom, a youngster, used to distribute the beer in pails. My dad drove a taxi for a short spell and he too carried booze. None of them was flush with cash. My mother-in-law, who was quite hard up, used to run card games in her home.

This brings me to a police raid in Florida against a free poker playing league. Florida and other states have laws against gambling:

“849.01 Keeping gambling houses, etc.—Whoever by herself or himself, her or his servant, clerk or agent, or in any other manner has, keeps, exercises or maintains a gaming table or room, or gaming implements or apparatus, or house, booth, tent, shelter or other place for the purpose of gaming or gambling or in any place of which she or he may directly or indirectly have charge, control or management, either exclusively or with others, procures, suffers or permits any person to play for money or other valuable thing at any game whatever, whether heretofore prohibited or not, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.”

The states run huge lotteries. The big guys run racetracks. The big guys build casinos. The little people can’t enter these businesses.

8:52 am on November 13, 2012