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With scrutiny, play resumes at poker club

Published: Wed, May 5, 2010 @ 12:08 a.m.

Staff report


Club Infiniti in the MetroPlex Hotel and Convention Center, Belmont Avenue, has reopened — and township police are watching.

“We’ll do what we’re going to do,” said Police Chief Rich Tisone about the club’s poker room. He declined to be specific, though, about what action will be taken and when.

The private poker club is open to the public and charges a $25 membership free and $25 daily-use fee. The club opened last month and then closed voluntarily. It reopened Sunday.

Tisone cited the Ohio Revised Code and the section on gambling. A portion reads: “No person shall receive any commission, wage, salary, reward, tip, donation, gratuity or other form of compensation, directly or indirectly, for operating or assisting in the operation of any game of chance.”

Robert Johnson, Girard city prosecutor, said the club owners receive earnings from a business that involves playing of poker — meaning it is illegal.

The poker club opened April 16 with its zoning and building-occupancy permits in order, according to township attorney Mark Finamore.

Tisone met with the club’s owners, Kevin Forestal of Liberty and C.J. McCormick of Girard, on April 22 and told them the club would be shut down and anyone inside would be charged with illegal gambling if it reopened.

The owners closed the club voluntarily but filed legal action, asking Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to prohibit the police department from filing criminal charges against the club, closing it, or revoking the club’s occupancy permit or zoning permit.

Judge Peter Kontos ruled April 30 that he does not have the authority to prevent a police department or other government body from filing criminal charges. He dismissed the club’s complaint.


1AtownParent(565 comments)posted 6 years ago

Aren't there more important things for the police to worry about in Liberty than a poker club?

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2dd933(307 comments)posted 6 years ago

They get paid to enforce the law - whether you agree with the law or not.

What are we going to do - determine which laws are important enough to enforce and which ones aren't?

It seems like we have our own set of values in the valley - nothing is wrong until you get caught - this concept needs to be smashed. Freedom is obedience to the law.

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3personalresponsibility(11 comments)posted 6 years ago

IDIOTS...The club is in blatant violation of the Ohio Revised Code, any lawyer can see this. I cannot wait until the police kick the doors in and arrest the owners & those playing. You don't like the law, use the democratic process to change it.

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4AtownParent(565 comments)posted 6 years ago

No, I am not saying that the law isn't being broken. I am saying that don't they have something better to do then sit and watch the club. The first line says "the township police are watching". Why are they watching? Why are they not doing? It seems pretty clear to me to walk in and arrest people - not sit and watch.

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5rich38(1 comment)posted 6 years ago

issue 1 passed gambling is legalized in broke ohio.it moves casino out of columbus to other parts of state do you know what they do at a casino they gamble you cant have it both ways either it is legal or illegal they have casinos therefore it is legal

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6NilesOhio(973 comments)posted 6 years ago

Under the rules stipulated, won't the Metroplex itself be in violation of the law since they are housing the business and thereby "assisting in the operation of any game of chance."

It will be interesting to see how each side plays their cards.

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7kornersburgkid(57 comments)posted 6 years ago

Why did Liberty Township give them a permit in the first place if they knew that gambling was going to take place? Smells fishy to me! "poker in the rear"....hahaha

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8SkyKing310B(315 comments)posted 6 years ago

Poker has been ruled a game of skill, therefor it is not a violation of the law.

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9grkfire(52 comments)posted 6 years ago

you are wrong. poker is considered a game of chance under the ohio revised code. there was one county in PA where a judge ruled poker was a game of skill. nowhere in ohio has this happened yet. if it did then this club would be legal.

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10SkyKing310B(315 comments)posted 6 years ago

I never accused the writers of the ORC of being the sharpest crayons in the box. Just look at the Bozo's this area keeps sending to Columbus. There is enough case law on the books that that provision could have been successfully challanged.

Gambling is playing bingo, roulette, or buying a lottery ticket. A skilled poker player wins as much money by bluffing as he does by getting the best cards.

Don't believe me, go watch a poker tournament sometime.

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11ElPolloRetrasado(212 comments)posted 6 years ago

Go back to your 1910 ways and shut the f up! It's legal and you idiots that can't understand that need to give up and pass away! Make money here or make money somewhere else, you figure it out you dumba$$3$!!!

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12captainlinger(661 comments)posted 6 years ago

give me liberty or give me poker

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