State officials keeping watch on poker boom

Sunday, August 1st 2004, 5:24 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ State officials say they're monitoring the growth of poker tournaments and how Oklahoma's anti-gambling laws affect them.

Last month, Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement warned establishments that poker tournaments played for money or prizes are illegal in Oklahoma.

Deputy Director Marta Patton says the agency will enforce the laws against businesses who do not stop illegal games.

ABLE has already shut down a poker tournament at a southeast Oklahoma country club. Patton says establishments that also sell liquor can lose their liquor license because of illegal tournaments.

Some of the laws governing poker could change in November, with a gaming proposal on the ballot. The measure would allow American Indian tribes that sign compacts to conduct poker tournaments in which players compete against each other, not the casino.