The Watauga Social Lounge Poker Club in Texas was raided by local police. Some players were fined and several members of staff were arrested and carted off to the county jail.
Watauga Social Lounge Poker Club Busted by Police
Armed law enforcement entered the premises telling staff members to raise their hands and executed a warrant signed a couple of days earlier by Judge George Gallagher.
Today the Watauga Poker Club just outside Dallas, Texas was raided. Here’s a look at the search warrant that was executed.
Players from Day 2 of their weekend tournament were issued citations. Various staff are currently being transported to jail (and will post bond). pic.twitter.com/wFCycOUeym
— Chad Holloway (@ChadAHolloway) October 9, 2022
The warrant seemed particularly interested in the fact that the poker club has all its windows blacked out to prevent those outside seeing in.
The finer points of why the raid happened are far from clear but it appears that the judge was convinced that the police had reasonable suspicion that unlawful gambling was taking place.
Poker clubs have popped up all over Texas in recent years and we know from experience that the law is far from straightforward. Law enforcement and local politicians have long struggled to find agreement on the matter.
The warrant also indicated that police were to look for non-poker related gambling materials such as traditional gaming tables like roulette and blackjack. None of this was found.
Was there when it got raided. Can confirm we were detained for several hours and issued citations. I can also confirm there were no illegal gambling devices found. They also essentially gutted the room, taking almost everything inside. pic.twitter.com/GmZGMqu1Yb
— Steve Nichols (@THEiSteve) October 10, 2022
Players Fined, Staff Arrested
One player present during the raid confirmed that many players were detained and issued citations stating only “gambling.” He added that the playing room was essentially “gutted” with even tables, chairs and other basic equipment being loaded into county trucks.
At least half a dozen members of staff were arrested and taken away to county jail for unspecified charges.
One of them anonymously told PokerNews:
I thought it was security actually because we asked for two security to come in, but I guess they didn’t realize we started the tournament at 1 p.m. as they normally come in at 6 p.m. but when they told me to raise my hands I realised it wasn’t security,”
The Watauga Social Lounge Poker Club is expected to remain closed until further notice, possibly even for good.
The owners said they will issue an official statement in the coming days when more is known about the charges.
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