|A company has sued five law enforcement agencies that say poker tournaments run without money wagers are still illegal.|
Charlotte-based 5th Street Entertainment LLC, which organizes poker tournaments, said the agencies have cost its business by declaring the games illegal and warning that restaurants or bars that host them could lose their state liquor licenses. The tournaments have been forced to stop awarding prizes.
North Carolina's gambling statute 'requires that something of value be bet in order to be considered gambling. This is merely a game people get together and play,' company attorney William Bunting said.
The Graduate, a downtown Charlotte restaurant, runs poker games two nights a week, but does not offer prizes. According to general manager Chris Sheridan, the games are a really good promotion for them and no one has told him they are illegal.