Is it legal to host poker in Illinois?
October 18, 2008 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Is it illegal to host poker games in Illinois if the house does not collect any profit?

I just moved back to Illinois from Ohio where it was legal to have a home game so long as the house did not collect any money from the game. I am just curious about hosting small games but don't want to risk getting in trouble with the law.
posted by thebwit to Law & Government (3 answers total)
IANAL, but it sure seems to this reader like poker for any amount of money is just plain illegal in Illinois.
(a) A person commits gambling when he:
(1) Plays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value, unless excepted in subsection (b) of this Section; ... Gambling under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor.
There's nothing in subsection (b) that mentions profits to the house or even the size of the game. It's all exempting insurance companies, licensed bingo, riverboat gambling, that sort of thing.
posted by chazlarson at 10:55 AM on October 18, 2008

Um, it's pretty well-known that Barack Obama played poker regularly with fellow legislators when he was serving in the Illinois legislature. It appears the law is seldom enforced for low-stakes games.
posted by ambrosia at 11:11 AM on October 18, 2008

Seldom enforced is correct. If the cops knew about your game, they probably wouldn't bust it up. And it would be difficult for the cops to learn about your game if its just you and some friends getting together.
posted by garlic at 5:31 AM on October 29, 2008

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