Idaho State Legislature Changes Law After Police Bust Senior Center Poker Game

by Lou on March 25, 2010

On March 1 I reported the story of a police raid at Idaho’s Twin Falls Senior Center where a weekly senior citizens poker game was broken-up up by Idaho police officers in what I referred to as “…rampant stupidity.” State legislators obviously saw the light and moved to amend the law that led to the raid.

The game had been going on about five years. Approximately twenty retirees gathered at the Twin Falls Senior Center every Friday to play Texas hold’em. Each player ponied up $20, with the prize money shared by the first few finishers. The local police took a dim view of what the seniors saw as an innocent social evening and busted the game based on an outdated law enacted when when Idaho was a territory. The law held that a prosecutor was committing a misdemeanor if he failed to investigate or prosecute a gambling allegation.

After the bust, local police were subjected to heavy criticism and the state legislature decided that a new law was needed, and State Senator Kate Kelly (D-Boise) sponsored a measure to place discretion for investigating any gambling reports back in the hands of the prosecutors.

Kelly explained, “We have elected prosecutors in Idaho, and they make decisions every day about whether or not to pursue a particular defendant or whether or not to pursue a particular act. And I think we can support that rather than exposing them to be subject to a crime for failing to prosecute.”

Kelly’s measure passed sailed through the Idaho Senate by a vote of 34-1, and through the House with a 69-1 majority.

The legislation takes effect July 1. Seniors, shuffle up and deal!


CSuave March 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Wow. Very happy to see some politicians having a little bit of common sense and the willingness to follow through with it.

BULLDOG POKER April 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Following a raid at Idaho’s Twin Falls Senior Center, in which a weekly poker social evening by a group of senior citizens was broken-up up by Idaho police officers, state legislators have moved to amend the archaic law which led to the raid in the first place.

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