Published April 25, 2010
Home poker games and Las Vegas nights sponsored by non-profit organizations are commonplace in the Mahoning Valley, but a private club in a hotel?
Club Infiniti, a poker room and game center, has opened in the Liberty Room of the Metroplex Hotel and Convention Center, soon to become a Clarion Hotel. The private club in Liberty Township is open to the public for a $25 annual fee and $25 daily use fee.
There are daily tournaments and cash games. The club’s hours are 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The tournaments are at 7 p.m. weekdays and 2 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
In addition to poker, table tennis and darts, Wi-Fi , PS3 and Xbox 360 games will be available to members.
So, how do Ohio’s gambling laws apply to clubs such as this one? A Google search reveals that these private entities are to be found throughout the state — and are legal so long as they follow certain rules.
But a common thread about possible violations has to do with “the rake” or session fee. Apparently, clubs that charge such a fee may be in conflict with the statute.
And there have been cases in Ohio where police raids have been conducted. Generally, violations result in the money being confiscated.
Given that the Mahoning Valley has been left out of the casino gambling sweepstakes, are poker clubs the alternative?