The Colorado Bureau of Investigation issues a very clear and distinct warning. Although organizers of the event say that the poker tournament is for charity, investigators say it's illegal. The poker tournament is being advertised as a fundraiser for Colorado State Troopers, Zach Templeton, Mark Dold, and Scott Hinshaw who were all involved in accidents last month.
Lance Clem, spokesperson for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation says, "There's very likely an illegal gaming operation going on." The event is highly suspicious because despite good intentions, gambling is against the law.
"When they are engaged in that and they are charged to play then it becomes an illegal poker operation" says Clem. Additionally, the tournament is displaying unauthorized use of the Colorado State Patrol logo.
The tournament's founder, Brian Masters says that in order to have an illegal operation there has to be three elements at work - risk, chance, and reward. "Risk is if I charge you any amount of money whatsoever to play the game." says Masters.
In this case, anyone can play for free and still win a prize!
The Denver Police Department is backing up Masters, they are playing in the event and so far, they have raised $60,000 since last year.
Denver Officer Marek Rybkowski stated, "We did check with the legality of this beforehand with CBI and Colorado Gaming, everything is above the board."
It's a win-win situation.
This sounds like the case of investigators not having enough to do. It seems like every other week I am writing an article about a game being raided, a charity event being shut down or founders of an online poker website going to jail! Let's focus on the killers, rapists and thieves out there instead of chasing down productive citizens playing a little poker in their free time.