The seal of the Supreme Court of South Carolina. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
It's a tradition that, whether they admit it or not, many people take part in - a game of poker inside of a home.
"There are hundreds of games of Texas Hold 'Em poker being played as a hobby by individuals having a friendly or casual game every night in South Carolina," said lawyer Billy Wilkins.
But one game back in 2006 in Mount Pleasant went too far. It resulted in arrests and a long legal battle that ended Wednesday in a South Carolina Supreme Court decision.
The issue isn't with the games themselves but the money being made and who is making the money.
Wilkins represented the defendants in the case and gave an example where it's illegal.
"If you turn it into a commercial activity - for example, if I were to charge admission to come in and play Texas Hold 'Em poker - that would be used as a house used as a place of gaming," Wilkins said.
Authorities used a law that's been on the state books since 1802, which set out guidelines on gambling. Wilkins said those laws are now outdated and deserve another look.
State Sen. Larry Martin, a Republican from Pickens County, is on the Senate Judiciary Committee and agrees with the decision.
But Martin said he's fearful of what could happen in the future.
"Another case could be brought (in) and bring down the entire statute because of the 3-2 decision and the way they ruled," said Martin.
The ruling, in the most basic terms, allows games of poker to be played in a person's home, as long as the house doesn't charge a cover or take a cut. If there is a profit made on the part of the house, it's considered a house of gambling, and considered illegal.
The dissenting opinion in the case said that the 210-year-old law was and is too vague and could be unconstitutional.
"The ball is in the lap of the legislature," said Wilkins.
Martin said he wants to fix that, but also said the process will take some time and a lot of work.
"Anytime we address gambling statutes, if we aren't very careful, we can create another problem that we didn't anticipate or another loophole that permits gaming or gambling," Martin said.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, August 22 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:40:39 GMT
Officials with the Charleston Police Department say a 15-year-old is in custody after he got rid of a gun at the Altman Athletic Center at The Citadel during the Sertoma finale. Police say it all started when a citizen told them someone had a gun. More >
Officials with the Charleston Police Department say a 15-year-old is in custody after he got rid of a gun at the Altman Athletic Center at The Citadel during the Sertoma finale. Police say it all started when a citizen told them someone had a gun.
A fisherman off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida thinks he has a pretty nice catch. As he reels in a four-foot shark, his catch is stolen by an even bigger fish. A massive grouper pulls the sharkMore >
A massive grouper steals a four-foot shark from a fisherman's line off the coast of Florida.More >
Saturday, August 23 2014 2:08 AM EDT2014-08-23 06:08:06 GMT
The Homeland Security Department is warning that more than 1,000 retailers could have a new malicious software program lurking in their cash registers that allows computer hackers to steal financial data about...More >
More than 1,000 U.S. retailers could be infected with malicious software lurking in their cash register computers, allowing hackers to steal customer financial data, the Homeland Security Department said Friday.More >
Saturday, August 23 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-08-23 04:04:44 GMT
Police in Sumter County are looking for a man wanted in the assault of a woman while she slept.The Sumter County Sheriff's Office is looking for Lashonda Dennis, 35, of Rembert. In May, a woman told deputiesMore >
Police in Sumter County are looking for a man wanted in the assault of a woman while she slept.More >