SC’s Poker Face

I’ve been thinking about this issue for awhile. Now that it’s on the Senate Calendar (S.254) and possibly heading to the House, I figured I’d share my thoughts.

First, ask any of my friends how little I know about poker and how rarely I play. Seriously, I had to ask a few friends last week to tell me “the hierarchy” to even know if a straight beats a flush or if a full house beats three-of-a kind or if three-of-a-kind beats two-pair.

Why was I asking? Because my wife told me a neighbor had invited me over to “play cards with members of his Sunday School class” when I got home.

I thought for a minute and said, I wonder if this is what all the hub-bub’s about over in the Senate. I had heard about arrests being made in the past down in the lowcountry ; but had figured that must be for some casino-ring or some sort of big-stakes poker matches. Surely, it’s fine for neighbors/friends to play a few hands of poker in their own homes, right?

Apparently, it’s not. Current SC law makes it illegal.

Even if the hands were only 10 cent hands (with 20 cent max bets)…and even if it’s only members of Sunday School class getting together…..and even if a priest is there playing …..it’s against SC law.

Oh, and apparently from what I hear games like Monopoly technically violate the current statute.

Seriously. Can you believe that?

There are a lot of “silly laws” on the books and it leads me to something friends of mine shared a while back, wouldn’t it be nice if the General Assembly stopped creating MORE laws and spent an entire session just REMOVING laws (outdated, etc)? Maybe if we placed less restrictions and regulations on people and business we might be better off?

I’m no libertarian but the “nanny government state” is scary…especially with what’s been going on in Washington lately.

Here’s the thing though….we all know the speed limit on our roads and yet many break the law everyday by simply ignoring it. There’s also no way our state can afford the number of troopers needed to pull everyone doing 5mph or 10mph over the limit (are cameras next?)

So, I ask, do we just leave this law alone realizing that most people will never be prosecuted and consider it a non-issue? Or, should we protect citizens and change the law? Or….I guess to a few, should it stay illegal and everyone be punished no matter how small the stakes or small the group?