Paul Krizek, D-Fairfax, the chair of the subcommittee, said the poker shutdown should take a fresh look at how the industry is regulated. Poker rooms that opened despite the frost, he said, cut against these efforts. «However, there is currently no non-profit poker program nationwide,» Wallace said. Board Vice Chair Amy Solares also appears to be involved in a bingo hall in Virginia Beach that has been promoting poker events for over a year. This establishment, the Bingo Palace / Beach Poker Room, was the one benka marked for officials to organize poker without authorization in July 2020. In an email to VDACS a month later, Lessin appeared to confirm Benka`s claim, saying, «Amy e sent me an email today informing me that she was shutting down the activities of the charity that hosts poker at her facility.» The Beach Poker Room continues to promote poker events on its Facebook page. The lack of licenses didn`t stop Chuck Lessin, the chairman of the state`s Charitable Gaming Board, from opening a poker room, Pop`s Poker, in his Richmond bingo hall and sports bar. Lessin has also launched a for-profit poker company that can hire other charities to run their games. Prior to the trial, Petersen filed a request with the VDACS for public recordings of poker-related documents. The Virginia Mercury received the same documents from the agency, which claimed that some of the documents requested by Petersen were completely exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and had made numerous redactions to other documents. Lessin said he has spent years lobbying for charity poker, given the decline in bingo revenues and the weakening of the state`s anti-casino stance. When asked if charity poker should take place in Virginia, VDACS spokesman Michael Wallace said in an email, «This is the subject of a recent lawsuit and more of a legal/local law enforcement issue.» «I really wanted to see, frankly, how the charity plays poker,» Lessin said.
«I don`t have time to run another company. As far as VDACS is concerned, the agency is still facing Lessin`s trial, which he is pursuing on appeal, and appears to be taking a non-interventionist approach to everything poker. During the 2021 legislature, the General Assembly had seen enough to try to freeze the implementation of charitable poker by 2022 by changing the state budget. The Charitable Gaming Board signed the final poker rules at the end of 2020, but the legislature`s action overturned those rules. In response, VDACS told applicants in May that the agency could no longer issue poker licenses. When things didn`t go as Lessin had planned, he accused agency officials of undermining the authority of his board and sabotaging the deployment of poker by slowing the adoption of the regulations. Then he sued her. The tumultuous beginning of charity poker in Virginia may have gone largely unnoticed because some see little harm in people playing cards for money when they can soon do so in casinos anyway. But some policymakers see this as an astonishing failure of the principles of good governance, which justifies a serious reassessment of the state`s fragmented gambling laws and their enforcement. Unlike bingo sessions, which can be conducted by volunteers, charity poker requires trained dealers. The pressure for charity poker would plummet, Lessin said, if there weren`t poker operators that Virginia charities could turn to for help organizing games.
Lessin, an entrepreneur, has been involved in charity bingo for nearly four decades, a side project that he says grew out of his advocacy for Richmond`s Jewish community. One of its charitable organizations, The Jerusalem Connection, which says its mission is «to inform, educate and activate support for Israel and the Jewish people,» owns the South Richmond estate where bingo and poker operations are located, according to the city`s property records. Another of his charities, Cheers, which focuses more generally on the well-being of the Richmond community, has applied for poker permission. «How can we make sure it`s charity first? And not play first? Krizek said at a committee meeting this summer. «The game is only meant to collect money for the charity to do the charitable things.» S 189-c. Legal deliveries of gaming equipment to New York State. All supplies of gaming equipment in this state, with the exception of slot machines and coin-operated gaming equipment, as defined in section 225.00, paragraph sept-a, of the Penal Code, including registration, registration and marking by the manufacturer or dealer in accordance with sections three and four of an act of the United States Congress entitled «An Act Prohibiting the Transportation of Gaming Equipment in Interstate and Foreign Commerce, » approved on the second of January, nineteen hundred and fifty-one, since it is chapter 1194, 64 Stat.