INDIANAPOLIS – That monthly poker game at your friend’s house is technically illegal. The Senate will vote next week on a bill to allow it.
Indianapolis Senator Mike Young’s (R) bill says it’s okay to play cards for money, as long as it’s at a private home, and no more often than once a week. The bill sets a bet limit of 20 bucks at a time, and it caps the number of players at 12.
Public Policy Chairman Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) says if there’s not a limit on how many people can play, someone could start what amounts to a pop-up casino in his garage. He says that kind of thing is what prompted legislators to pass tighter controls on gambling in the first place.
No one’s faced charges over a neighborhood card game. Young says that’s a reason to legalize it. He says people shouldn’t have to look over their shoulder for the possibility someone might suddenly start enforcing the law.
The bill also makes it a misdemeanor to cheat at cards when there’s money involved. It’s not a crime now. Young suggests that may be because you’d have to admit to something illegal yourself to report it.