The owner of Murphys Hotel in Murphys, Calif., is facing charges of running an illegal gambling operation after a Texas Hold'em game he hosts at the hotel was busted last week.
According to a news release from the California Attorney General's office, state agents, with the assistance from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control and Calavaras County Sheriff's Department, seized poker chips, cards, and $630 in cash during the bust. The agents were acting on an anonymous tip they received in June.
Dorian Faught, the 59-year-old hotel owner, told media he was just playing a friendly poker game with buddies when agents from the state Division of Gambling Control came in and stopped the game. It turned out that two of the players in the game were undercover gambling control agents who'd been posing as players during a two-month sting of the game at the hotel.
Faught and two hotel employees, John Reesman and Brian Goss, were all cited on misdemeanor charges of conducting gambling without a license. Those charges carry up to a $10,000 fine and a year in county jail if they're convicted.
Faust, who lives in Angels Camp, Calif., but spends most of his time at the hotel, said he didn't realize he was breaking any laws with what he considered just a friendly game.
According to state law, only games where no one makes money off the operation and games that take place in private homes are legal. All other gambling must take place in a licensed gambling establishment, said Martin Horan, a special agent with the Division of Gambling Control.