Richmond Seniors See Their Poker Circle Shut Down

Publish: 24.04.2017

British Columbia gambling regulators have moved on to shut down a small-stake poker circle at Richmond’s Minoru Place Seniors’ Centre bringing disappointment to a group of about 40 seniors, ranging from 55 to 95 in age.

Poker Playing Seniors

The seniors saw their card games circle banned from playing Texas Hold-em poker because they were playing for cash, which is in clear violation with provincial gambling regulations.

The seniors were indulging recreational poker sessions which cost 10 cents a chip and after meeting each other for 10 years at the centre, it is only natural they are feeling disappointed and crushed.

“If anybody is playing poker, it’s more fun if you play for a little bit of money and it makes it more interesting. We’re not playing for large amounts of money, it’s not about gambling, we’re playing for fun.” player Marilyn Berger told local media.

Fun Ruining Regulations

The seniors saw their card sessions as a perfect way to socialise with each other and that chance is now ruined for them.

“It’s no fun at all, you might as well just stay home and play solitaire,” another card player Serena Lambert said.

Nevertheless, provincial gambling regulations clearly state that card games which involve the exchange of money are considered gaming activities and are as such unlawful as Ted Townsend, director of communications for the City of Richmond, reminds.

“We are quite happy to have poker and other card games happening at the centre… They’re very popular and we want to support that, but we have to uphold the law.” he said.

Townsend does not want to discourage the seniors’ group from meeting and playing, but the rules are simple and straightforward as they leave the Centre with tied hands as long as there is money on the table.

Seniors’ card gaming activities are not something the Centre as a public body could get a licence for which is forcing the seniors to play elsewhere.

They tried to play at their homes, but there wasn’t enough space.

Perhaps they could switch to online poker?