Canadian poker players receive discharges


Two alleged poker players have been discharged for their roles in an illegal gambling operation that was busted last year by Winnipeg police.

According to a story with the Winnipeg Free Press both Neil Faderson, 27, and Rellen Orcullo, 34, pleaded guilty and were subsequently handed discharges meaning they will keep clean criminal records.

Approximately 60 officers raided cash games around the city on May 31 last year. Police shut down illegal games at the Bari Club on Corydon Avenue and the Barca Club on McMillan Avenue. Fifty-seven people were charged for being present in common gaming houses.

More than 50 of those charged will receive similar discharges to Faderson and Orcullo after agreeing to enroll in a "positive lifestyles" program at the Salvation Army.

A select few have opted to fight their charges at trial dates which are now set for 2009. Each one has decided to appear with out lawyers and represent themselves in court.

Originally justice officials sent out a letter to all the accused last Fall that outlines their various options. Some were offended by the suggestion they take a course that includes a section on problem gambling because they feel it would be akin to admitting they did something wrong. Many in the poker community were outraged by the police raids.

In Manitoba, poker games have to be licensed by the Manitoba Gaming Control Commission and only certain groups such as charities or churches are able to claim proceeds.

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