Five bars and legions in British Columbia will be allowed to host for-profit poker tournaments for charity now that the B.C. Lottery Corporation has granted limited sanctions for the games.
The tournaments will be part of a six-month pilot program allowing bars and pubs to host poker tournaments as long as the profits go to charity. Depending on the success of the program, it could be extended to legalize poker games across the province.
Poker tournaments had already been taking place illegally in bars and legions in the province. Robin Cook, BCLC spokeswoman, told Kamloops This Week that was a motivating factor in trying the pilot program.
Another factor was the increasing popularity of the game which has led to the corporation receiving many requests for poker to be legalized.
The projects success will be measured according to feedback of the participating bars and legions which are mostly located in the Lower Mainland and Victoria, with one in Kamloops. If the project is successful and extended, BCLC will have the chance to protect the integrity of the game and make sure businesses donate the proceeds to charity.
One of the first tournaments in the project starts this week in Kamploops at the Grasshopper Bar and Grill. It will be a 10-person poker tournament with a $20 entry fee.