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Police bust illegal poker room in Georgia

Police bust illegal poker room in Georgia

18 people were arrested when police raided a bar with a makeshift poker room

Police raided a bar outside Atlanta at around 5 AM on September 11, accusing it of illegal gambling for operating a poker game by a nonprofit organization.

Authorities issued a search warrant for the Royal Flush Bar & Grill in Duluth, taking five employees and 13 customers into custody. Gwinnett County Police Department’s Vice Unit investigators confiscated $50,000 in cash, gambling paraphernalia and other undisclosed items.

The employees arrested are charged with illegal commercial gambling, with the customers facing other gambling charges. Police are still looking for three individuals tied to the business. A legal representative for Royal Flush Bar & Grill spoke by phone to PokerNews, saying that despite previous reports, just one of those individuals is the bar’s owner.s

Georgia has some of the most stringent anti-poker laws in the US. Several legal poker clubs and a few charity poker clubs operate legally, but there are no legal brick-and-mortar card rooms anywhere in the state.

The arrested individuals are “innocent, and their names are being dragged through the mud.” said the Royal Flush representative, who hopes to soon stand before a judge to resolve the matter.

The representative clarified that Royal Flush rented out the space, and the nonprofit charged customers a $20 per hour seat fee, similar to Texas poker rooms. However, the business attempted to run poker games based on Georgia Code 16-12-22.1, permitting raffles to be operated by nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations.

The only time the same business model was attempted in Georgia, operators of the Little Kings and Queens charity faced felony charges in June 2022 for operating a gambling place.

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