Illegal Poker Operation in Florida Results in 3rd Arrest

floridaAcross the United States, the rules vary as to what is allowed in regards to the game of poker. Some states outlaw the game outright while others allow for land based poker play. Very few, namely Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, allow players to enjoy online game play, but only when within the individual state’s borders.

These limitations cause individuals to host illegal games which soon can turn into major operations. These operations are soon busted and the individuals running the games find themselves in a mess of trouble. In the state of Florida, three individuals have now been arrested for their part in an illegal gambling operation in the Westin area.

Steve Watkins, age 64, was accused of playing part in the illegal gambling activity which took place at a cigar bar in Weston. Watkins turned himself in late last week and was charged with operating a gambling house. A search warrant was out for his arrest.

Watkins was running the poker house illegally at the Smoke on the Water venue which is a Cigar Bar. Watkins partners in crime were Michael Kieran McGuinness and Daniel Frederick Husley. Both men were arrested one day earlier while at the bar.

McGuinness’ role of the poker operation was to set up the gaming table and then deal cards. The bar would host a Texas Hold’em tournament which was frequented by patrons. It is not clear as to the role of the other men in this case.

It is interesting to note that this is not the first instance of poker tournaments taking place illegally in the United States and it will not be the last. Players want to be able to enjoy the game and wager money, which is not always allowed. However, many states are beginning to see the earnings potential of allowing such games with legislation being proposed across the US, so hopefully more states will begin to offer such gaming.



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