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Tasmanian Man In Trouble With The Law Over Home Poker Game Organized Via Facebook

Tags: Australia, David Desmond Bowen, facebook, home poker game, Tasmania.
Posted on 02 April 2014 by "T".

Facebook is a great place to set up and organise events, but you better think twice before organising your next home poker tournament there, especially if you live in the land down under. David Desmond Bowen, 32, from Tasmania (an island state, part of the Commonwealth of Australia) invited 25 friends to his Facebook-event, a $150 buy-in home poker tournament at a house in Norwood last October. Somehow police were alerted about it and took action.

The ABC reported that Bowen had pleaded guilty to one count of using a place for conducting gaming last week. His lawyer claimed that his client had asked a friend who works in senior management at the Launceston casino about the laws on organising home poker tournaments. His friend said it was legal as long as he wasn't taking a commission, which is not correct.

"Under section 5A of Tasmania's Gaming Control Act 1993, the penalty for holding an unauthorised gaming operation is a fine of up to $78,000. For second and subsequent offences, the penalty includes a fine of up to $130,000, or imprisonment for up to two years."

Luckily for Bowen, Magistrate Tim Hill choose not to record a conviction for the crime but he must now be on good behaviour for the next two years. Bowen has since paid back his friends the money they contributed to the tournament's prize pool.


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20 comments on "Tasmanian Man In Trouble With The Law Over Home Poker Game Organized Via Facebook"

 Theapple02/04/2014 10:49:03 GMT
this $hit is getting ridiculous really. You ant organize a poker tourney at your own home, with your own friends anymore?

apparently, there wasnt any 'rake' either so not sure why would police bother with stuff like this, thought there might be a bit bigger fishes to catch... but no, obviously, poker home games are the root of all evil :X
 pochui02/04/2014 11:13:57 GMT
damn it i have a feeling that i might get busted for organizing easter home game
 bowie198402/04/2014 13:11:22 GMT
This story is totally on par with the one in a couple weeks back, when american authorities struck down on a penny games played in a retirement home.
So full of hardcore ballers - these tasmanian hobby games. I should totally check one out.
 Heskor02/04/2014 14:53:15 GMT
haha the law is the law though it is too strict in the USA, they would be better off economically and financially to re allow gambling. It will makes them lots of money and the gambling industry can create jobs etc, but as you know there will always be some degenerate out there that will make the gov not remove the current gambling laws and so on. Poor man!
 Theapple02/04/2014 16:11:59 GMT
Posted by pochui:
damn it i have a feeling that i might get busted for organizing easter home game

lol Big Smile
 Mober02/04/2014 17:34:18 GMT
There is another example of stupidity with all these social networks.
Whats the matter, was too hard to pick up the phone and actually talk to people
and invite them over?
 teddybears7302/04/2014 18:23:18 GMT
Posted by pochui:
damn it i have a feeling that i might get busted for organizing easter home game

well i've reported you to the relevant authouroties so we'll wait and see.

Big Smile Big Smile Big Smile
 ddblt197002/04/2014 19:00:57 GMT
Damn gangster, they better put him in jail for at least 20 years.
No, seriously, this is crazy, why can´t you normally play with your friends?

 demodawggy03/04/2014 04:43:15 GMT
That's absolutely ridiculous... It's not like it's some sort of secretive underground gangland style game involving ill-gotten cash...!

...but I have it on good word that the host, (pic below) has a taste for human flesh, and plans to eat his guests as they get knocked out, ...! Shock

Facebook sucks too by the way...!
 jessthehuman03/04/2014 07:47:49 GMT
What a load of bullshit.

Also - there must be more to this story; I live in Australia and we're really relaxed about those kinds of laws, I've NEVER known someone to get in trouble for holding home games and I've even known home games to involve the local police force members.

Australia really isn't tough on crime, especially compared to places like the USA.

This guy must have really pissed someone off - to the point someone dobbed him in AND made enough noise that the police were forced to act.
 pochui03/04/2014 08:37:48 GMT
well well what do you know- today erly in the morning (while even pigs where sleeping) inspectors from tax bureau together with police officers broke into my home because they received some info "from informed sources" (teddybears?) and demanded me to give away my stars id and password...that's not the main news though...they also found my illegal "ball shaving stand" & cannabis plantation Thumbs Down so i am now officially out of business...seriously considering doing a "Peter's Act" with easter home game bank
 doubletop77703/04/2014 08:49:14 GMT
What is so wrong about a group of friends playing cards at home? Surely the police have better things to do than to raid a house with people playing poker in it. Madness, i think it is
 Fakiry03/04/2014 12:37:06 GMT
This new wave of having authorities using Facebook to get offline crimes is giving me headackes, it doesn't make any sense! In my country we have had a guy talking bad about his company on Facebook and the company used that as an official reason to be able to fire him. Come on! There are so many public workers talking bad about the government and they will not be fired, how can a private company use that as an excuse and the court accepted it!!
 ddblt197003/04/2014 19:26:54 GMT
The police should search for more dangerous people.

Playing for 150$ with few friends?

What´s wrong with this?
 Macubaas04/04/2014 19:49:23 GMT
Again stupid rules against poker, i thought that australians would be more open minded but it seems it's not the case lol

I will never understand why people are not allowed to do what they want with the moeny they earn. I think the next step will be to allow people to buy only products that the gov approves thumbsdown
 ddblt197004/04/2014 19:53:36 GMT
I don´t see what is the big difference between betting with your friends for money and

playing a poker game with the same friends for the same money.

Can somebody explain?
 noonlion05/04/2014 14:03:29 GMT
police trying to flex their muscles by busting internet related things like this is just fucking lame. this isn't a crime on any level. This is what happens when police officers start operating from an office chair.
 ddblt197005/04/2014 20:06:24 GMT
This is crazy,

hopefully at least the judge will be normal.
 Macubaas06/04/2014 06:39:03 GMT
I totally have to agree with the last post that ddblt1970 made, i really hope that the judge will have more common sense...

In court i'm sure that a good lawyer can make a judge to see the stupidity of this law/punish that is proposed. Weird world we live into...
 ddblt197006/04/2014 20:29:53 GMT
Unfortunately the judge has to follow what is written in the law,

and if there is written, that this was a crime, he will have to punish him, he can give him a

lowest possible sentence though.

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