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Richmond officials shut down seniors’ small-stakes poker circle

Tags: Canada, Richmond, seniors.
Posted on Thursday, April 27, 2017 by "T".

Elderly members of the Minoru Place Seniors' Centre in Richmond, BC, Canada were prohibited from playing in that place their favorite afternoon pastime, Texas Hold'em, simply because they were playing with cash involved, which is clearly a violation of provincial gambling regulations.

It only costs you 10 cents a chip for a buy-in to the Texas Hold'em games held at the Minoru Place Seniors' Centre in Richmond, British Columbia. The poker group consisted of 40 seniors, ranging from ages 55 to 95. Unfortunately, their afternoon card game sessions had recently been shut down because of the reason: they were playing with cash on the table.

The seniors' centre is managed in cooperation with the City of Richmond and the Minoru Seniors Society, and the centre's officials informed the group members that they are not allowed to play as long as there was cash involved because it violates provincial gambling regulations.

The group members who've been meeting and playing afternoon poker for 10 years felt devastated.

Director of Communications for the City of Richmond Ted Townsend said the card games violate provincial gambling regulations. All card games that involve cash are deemed illegal gaming activities. Furthermore, the seniors' centre does not allow card games that involve cash. He said, "We are quite happy to have poker and other card games happening at the centre... They're very popular and we want to support that, but we have to uphold the law."

While Townsend still encourages the group from meeting, he said there's not much the city can do if there is cash involved in the games, "The provincial gaming authorities made it quite clear that that type of activity is illegal, it's not the type of activity that we could get a license for... We're a public body, we have to do the responsible thing."

Here's what some of the elderly players said about the incident:

Marilyn Berger: "If anybody is playing poker, it's more fun if you play for a little bit of money and it makes it more interesting. We're not playing for large amounts of money, it's not about gambling, we're playing for fun."
Serena Lambert said the games were an opportunity for the seniors to socialize, "It's no fun at all, you might as well just stay home and play solitaire."

Charles McLaughlin said he played card games to get out of his house and likes to be with others whose company he enjoys. He said that they can be themselves and laugh about their moments of memory loss, "It has very little to do with poker... I've been by myself for a while, and I was spending too much time sitting at home so I wanted to get out."

After the group members were banned from playing poker at the centre, they tried to play at their own individual homes, but the problem is there wasn't enough space. Marilyn Berger said, "All we want to do is work with the city and amend the law to allow us to play and have some fun."

There's evidence that playing card games can have various health for seniors. Senior care experts say that elderly people can enjoy the following benefits when playing card games: cognitive stimulation to help fight memory loss, encourage a stronger immune system, reduces stress, and promotes socialization.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/gambling-seniors-1.4081171

 


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10 comments for "Richmond officials shut down seniors’ small-stakes poker circle"

 Gerimantas4/27/2017 8:57:15 PM GMT
All i can say I really hate some politicians, so stupid to have such laws with no exceptions and now all that was done here is that officers wanted to show hiw good they work and get the result in their case maybe even get a medal for their "good" work. Go and fight against people who gamble from millions and not elderly guys playing from cents
 doubletop7774/28/2017 8:13:08 AM GMT
What possible harm could these guys be doing to anybody by having a poker game?? Surely, the authorities could turn a blind eye to this and i hope common sense prevails and they can go back to playing
 pochui4/28/2017 11:28:52 AM GMT
so who was that pesky rat who told the police about massive illegal gambling operations at Minoru Place Seniors' Centre in Richmond, BC, Canada? surely not the sore loser? cannot say that i support the officials in this situation...
 Mober4/29/2017 6:40:21 PM GMT
Well they can start playing with cookies, different ones and name the each cookie for
a coin or a note.
When the game is over they can make the conversions according to the cookies they hold
and eat them too. Smile

10 cents games in a seniors club. What a violation.
 pajalnick4/29/2017 9:32:36 PM GMT
Governments of different countries have created in their countries a big bureaucratic apparatus and even if it works incorrectly it means that it is necessary to recognize that the government has become animated and this will never happen
 bowie19844/30/2017 12:40:57 AM GMT
Posted by pochui:
so who was that pesky rat who told the police about massive illegal gambling operations at Minoru Place Seniors' Centre in Richmond, BC, Canada? surely not the sore loser? cannot say that i support the officials in this situation...

Imagine all those SWAT guys showing up next time for da bingo night as well...
 Gerimantas4/30/2017 9:55:25 AM GMT
Yes like bowie1984 tells funny, what if group of policemen show up in every senior how from now? I wonder what sort of expense is this, thise people are paud wages and they go and tell senior people to stop gambling from frw cents? Is this economically sorth doing, there are bigger crimes to stop
 bowie19845/1/2017 12:40:48 AM GMT
Posted by Gerimantas:
I wonder what sort of expense is this, thise people are paud wages and they go and tell senior people to stop gambling from frw cents? Is this economically sorth doing, there are bigger crimes to stop

Not only there are bigger crimes to stop, but to treat these people as common criminals because they are like to play cards with some stake at hand is surreal.
 dycesickle5/4/2017 2:47:28 PM GMT
Im from vancouver where this went down and bingo is a game played at every single retirement home. How could they allow that which is also a regulated game abd not allow holdem? That seems a bit hypocritical to me
 Gerimantas5/4/2017 7:09:16 PM GMT
Here we have response from member of this site from same city and he only confirmed that this situation was handled very bad by police and i am not surprised ny this, government officials in all countries have many bad moves and decisions very ofthen, so this is just another example

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