Seniors Fight City After Gambling Ban Shuts Down Poker Game - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share

Seniors Fight City After Gambling Ban Shuts Down Poker Game

Posted: Updated:

A group of seniors in Washington state is pushing back against the state Gambling Commission's decision to shut down their nickel-and-dime card games at a local senior center due to local ban on card games with money.

Seniors at the 650-member Snohomish Senior Center had been playing illegally since 2009, when the city council banned "social" card games, The Everett Herald reported.

Unaware the ordinance applied to them, the seniors continued to play poker, bridge, pinochle and other games for cash. In December, the Gambling Commission shut down their game with a letter informing them the games were illegal and needed to end, according to the report.

"It's a crying shame," Don Ness, an 84-year-old poker player told the newspaper. "It keeps your brain going."

Last month, the city council rejected a measure to exempt the seniors from the ban, the Herald reported. Council members modified the decision two weeks later to allow nonprofits to play in leased or owned spaces until April 30.

Some are calling for the city's prohibition on so-called "social card games" to be permanently lifted.

Bob Dvorak, the center's executive director, told Q13Fox.com that the center provides important outreach to a segment of the community that often finds itself alone.

"It keeps them from being isolated," Dvorak said "They're in for the nutritious meal and they have social skills; they see their friends, they see the staff."

Dvorak told the station that if seniors can't play for pennies, they might not come at all.

"We want them in a safe, fun environment where they're surrounded by their friends and colleagues," Dvorak said.

Ness, who continues to play in spite of the commission's warning, told KIRO Radio he hopes that by drawing attention to the issue, the city will eventually overturn the ban.

"There's so much more going on than just working on the poor retired folks, I think," Ness said. "It's a sad deal. I mean it's a crime you know, gee whiz. It seems like it gets harder for seniors all the time."

  • Spotlight StoriesMore>>

  • SUV Slams Into Wilkinsburg, Pa. AutoZone

    SUV Slams Into Wilkinsburg, Pa. AutoZone

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:22:31 GMT
    An AutoZone in Pennsylvania suffered some major damage after a SUV crashed right into the front of the store
    An AutoZone in Pennsylvania suffered some major damage after a SUV crashed right into the front of the store
  • Children Chased Out Of Pond By 300 Pound Alligator

    Children Chased Out Of Pond By 300 Pound Alligator

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:20:51 GMT
    Terrifying moments unfolded in Texas after several children found themselves being chased out of a pond by an unexpected guest.
    Terrifying moments unfolded in Texas after several children found themselves being chased out of a pond by an unexpected guest.

  • Snooty the manatee celebrates 66th birthday

    Snooty the manatee celebrates 66th birthday

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:07 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:07:51 GMT

    The manatee that's believed to be the oldest in captivity in the world is marking another birthday.

    The manatee that's believed to be the oldest in captivity in the world is marking another birthday.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Veteran Says He Escaped Attempted Armed Robber at Fast Food Drive-Thru

    Veteran Says He Escaped Attempted Armed Robber at Fast Food Drive-Thru

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:53 AM EDT2014-07-22 04:53:43 GMT
    All a 59-year-old Navy veteran wanted was a cheeseburger when he placed an order at the Burger King drive-thru on Tilton Road in Egg Harbor Township. Instead he got a brush with death on Sunday.
    All a 59-year-old Navy veteran wanted was a cheeseburger when he placed an order at the Burger King drive-thru on Tilton Road in Egg Harbor Township. Instead he got a brush with death on Sunday.
  • Police: Mother Left 6-week-Old Son In SUV

    Police: Mother Left 6-week-Old Son In SUV

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:40 AM EDT2014-07-22 04:40:41 GMT
    Philadelphia Police say a 35-year-old mother left her 6-week-old son inside her SUV at the Walmart on Franklin Mills Boulevard.
    Philadelphia Police say a 35-year-old mother left her 6-week-old son inside her SUV at the Walmart on Franklin Mills Boulevard.
  • Two Masked Men Steal Over $180,000 From Caesars Casino

    Two Masked Men Steal Over $180,000 From Caesars Casino

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:33 AM EDT2014-07-22 04:33:01 GMT
    Authorities say two men stole $181,200.00 from Caesars Casino in Atlantic City early Monday morning.
    Authorities say two men stole $181,200.00 from Caesars Casino in Atlantic City early Monday morning.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices