Real Poker is proud to offer Arizona poker players a viable alternative for traditional professional poker tournaments outside of Indian Country.
Since 2015, our poker tournaments have been successfully registered with the Arizona Attorney General’s office as amusement gambling pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 13-3301.1.d.iii and 13-3311. The amusement gambling exclusion is different than the defunct social gambling exclusion, which has seen over 50 cardrooms come and go over the past decade, including a dozen raids or indictments. Today, almost all of these poker rooms have gone underground, where only the criminal element wins.
Real Poker’s exempt purpose is “to increase competitive play of the sport of poker in Arizona”.
The club provides carefully structured, transparent, and open operation of traditional poker tournaments. The club offers competitive monthly and annual points races, and regular monthly, quarterly and annual freeroll championship events. The club operates in a safe, lawfully conducted not-for-profit manner for members to enjoy a friendly, neighborhood poker game with professional dealers in third party venues (i.e., sports bars and grills) they are comfortable in. As a co-operative, the members collectively own, control and operate the Club. Only members, and their bona fide guests, are allowed to participate in Club events.
Real Poker can only provide poker tournaments under the amusement gambling exclusion -- at least at this time. But our grassroots efforts with tournament poker will help pave the way for regulating all forms of poker, as well as daily fantasy sports and the myriad of national sweepstakes and contests that almost always exclude Arizona citizens because of the way our gambling laws have been written, and usurped by tribal gaming.
To non-members, Real Poker may look like“free pub poker”, which is one of the reasons why we differentiate ourselves with our name. Real Poker uses casino-quality, 9-seat ovular tables with custom felts and padded armrests, composite clay chips with custom inlays, and professional-grade plastic playing cards. We retain a group of professional, non-participating, hourly-wage event staff (dealers, directors). Club founders and managers have been serving the poker community for the past decade.
Real Poker’s (May 30, 2017) registration with the Arizona Attorney General can be viewed here.
Amusement gambling poker tournaments under the intellectual exclusion aren’t new. The first successful registration we found was by the Mesa Alcoholics Anonymous, conducting a fun and alcohol-free $1,000+ New Year’s Eve event.
All activities are conducted in furtherance of the Club’s exempt purpose, including our singular membership drive and annual freeroll event we call “The ‘Real’ Arizona State Poker Championship”, which will rival the $1M+ prize pool of the other Arizona State Poker Championship -- which isn’t even conducted on state land!
Real Poker represents the first real step in reclaiming the sport of poker from the gaming tribes in our State. A one-of-a-kind error in a Freedom of Information Act request in 2012, informed us that tribal poker rooms only generate about $1.3M annually for the State (on $30M revenue - empirical data reported to the NIGC in 2011). If Arizona mirrored California’s cardroom model, the State would very quickly see about $20M for the General Fund (adjusted for population/saturation) from an industry that always has existed, and isn’t going away any time soon. The State has spent at least $1.3M annually to protect the tribal exclusivity over regulated poker contests. All cardroom investigations and prosecutions have been initiated by the privatized and grossly-conflicted “State” Gaming Department.
Real Poker provides the blueprint for a federation of affiliated poker clubs throughout our State, particularly in those seven of fifteen counties that don’t even have access to a tribal casino poker room. Our club is similar to non-profit chess clubs, offering regular tournament events with an entry fee and cash prize pool. Chess clubs routinely promote events with “85% to 90% of entry fees returned to players”. We aim for the same target, generating only enough revenue to pursue our exempt purpose and fund our exempt activities, while offering comparable, if not better, poker tournament events for our members, closer to home, friendlier, and which they collectively control. Real Poker is truly “your home game away from home”.
RANDOM POKER QUOTE:
Real Poker offers legally regulated poker tournaments throughout Arizona. The enabling laws required by A.R.S. § 13-3306(b)(i) and A.R.S. § 13-3302 consists of the statutory requirements and obligations regulating intellectual amusement gambling under in A.R.S. § 13-3311 and A.R.S. § 13-3301.1(d)iii. Real Poker’s books are open to inspection and all required taxes are paid. All legal opinions expressed on these page(s) are the opinions of private individuals, not an attorney.
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