EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

December 18, 2013

Poker in the home: Soon could be legal in N.H.

Today, such games are illegal in N.H.

CONCORD – New Hampshire’s Legislature will consider legalizing poker in the home.

A House panel voted, 19-0, to recommend passage for a bill that would permit small stakes poker among friends in the neighborhood.

“This bill legalizes home poker games as long as the ‘house’ takes no rake, no admission can be charged, odds can’t favor any player, there is not a house bank and the games can not be advertised to the public,” Rep. Patricia Lovejoy, D-Stratham, said in a report from the Ways and Means Committee to the full House.

House Bill 459 is scheduled before the House during its session on Jan. 8.

“An informal game among friends has been illegal in New Hampshire,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. George Lambert, R-Litchfield.

Lambert said it won’t make a difference to players trying to get a game up over the Christmas holidays, but it could be enacted by St. Patrick’s Day.

Rep. Gary Azarian, R-Salem, a member of the House panel, said a lot of people play poker with friends now and may not realize those games are illegal.

“We’re taking an old law off the books,” Azarian said.

After reviewing the issue, the committee concluded there isn’t a problem with these neighborhood games, he said.

“Ways and Means felt there was no issue with that,” Azarian said.

Nor does the proposed change in the law threaten charity gaming, in Azarian’s view.

“This will not impact charitable gaming at all,” he said.

Despite being illegal, Azarian noted police departments don’t raid such games in New Hampshire.

Lambert did say he had invited Litchfield’s police chief over for a game, only to have the chief ask him to drive to Salem to play poker in the charity gaming venue at Rockingham Park.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Photos of the Week