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Friday, December 1


Has anyone else been to Joker's yet? Someone I know played poker there once, several weeks ago. It's a nice enough place, and smoke free. But I wonder if they will run into trouble in the wake of this article from The Source?

(Pausing while you read the article...)

OK so there seem to be two issues with the poker games - at Joker's and at other business establishments that host the games.

1. Dealers - according to the "social games" law/statute/rule/whatever... the dealer ideally should be one of the players at the table, and should rotate. Joker's uses "volunteer" dealers instead - they don't buy into the table and they don't wager. They are not employed or compensated by Joker's. They just show up and deal the cards.

2. Tipping - tipping the dealer is strictly disallowed. According to the article, Joker's states that they have signs posted, instructing players not to tip. And they encourage their "volunteer" dealers to turn down tips offered to them.

Now... here's the thing. That person I know said that they tipped their dealer. They said they did not see any signs stating that they should not tip. And their dealer gladly accepted every tip that was offered by all the players at the table.

Granted, there are many things that are illegal. Have you ever driven down Hwy 97, faster than the speed limit? Who's to blame if you get caught? The manufacturer of your vehicle made it so that it will go faster than most speed limits. But you, as the operator, are responsible for the speed at any time.

Should Joker's be held responsible if their dealers are accepting tips? Maybe it would be a good idea to display the "No tipping" signs a little more prominently.

At the end of the day... I don't think these games should be shut down, as long as they are being operated correctly. Yes, I agree that gambling can cause problems for some people, but with so many video poker machines around I don't think that these games cause a bigger problem. Personally I don't gamble much... but I definitely prefer the idea of sitting at a game with other people and playing cards, than sitting at a machine tapping a video screen.

What are your thoughts?


Shanlee said...

I've been to Joker's and I feel so old when I go there. The drinks are good and reasonably priced and the food I've had is good.

Unfortunately, I live in the building to the east of Joker's and I constantly hear drunk ppl outside my window every weekend.

Bend Oregon Restaurants said...

The idea of not being able to tip the dealer kills me. When we tip everyone for everything now (what's 15% of this $3.75 latte). But the only reason the games are allowed by law is based on the idea of a social game. If you have a person that is the dedicated dealer then it is no longer a social game by the definition of the law.

I think it's great that we have card games available in Oregon - one of 5 states that has outlawed online gambling. I doubt it will last unless the Oregon Lottery figures out a way to profit from it.

Since I need to spin this comment to relate to my blog - I have eaten the Kobe Beef (the jury is still out on if it's actually Kobe beef or just beef) at Sidelines where they do play three card poker and blackjack. It's a pretty damn good burger if you dont mind smelling of cigarettes when you leave....I do.


Jen said...

The fact that Joker's is non-smoking is part of what appealed to us. It would be nice if they can make it work as I can't *stand* to be in a smoky bar.

Shan - are there *more* drunk people outside of your window now, or is that just part of life downtown?