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.