Italy: Police Doesn’t Play “Poker Sportivo”

Police in Rome, Italy, last weekend, raided a poker tournament last and confiscated all objects used in the the game, including 12 poker tables,all the chips and cards. The game was running for less than an hour before the local “cops” s came. Over 100 players registered for the tournament. “But it’s a legal way for playing” said A.F., the director of the club and organizer of the tournment. Permitted from the italian law (FINANZIARIA 2007). The prize pool was around the 3.000 Euro, this looked like being a highly successful event for organiser, but the prize pool was not high ( that’s shoud mean in Italy: NO GAMBLOING). However, within an hour of the game starting the italian police had other ideas, and closed the tournment.

Gambling not in one of the only 4 Italian Casinos (Casino di Campione,Casino di Saint Vincent, Casino di Venezia and Casino di Sanremo)is illegal in Italy and this appears to be the basis of the police intervention. According to italian law, “Those who profit, directly or indirectly, from organizing gambling in facilities that they are responsible for, should be punished for gambling promotion”. That’s mean also that if you put a promotional banner of an online casino on your internet site you committe a crime. The director of the club was shocked by the police action. Said that, “did not believe anything illegal had taken place in his club, the only sum he earned was the rent of the club by a bridge and poker club…obout 220 Euro.”

But is it legal to collect fee when people play bingo or bridge in Italy? But is it legal if you pay a win of a poker tournment?

But is it legal to organize a poker tournment in Italy?

“If collecting fee is legal when people play Bingo, it should be legal to collect the same fees for poker players, it’s unfair that playing for money is only illegal when playing poker”. The italian police said that the case is being investigated not only as a violation of the gambling laws, but also as a violation of the financial laws