Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Criminalization of Cribbage (cont.)

A quick update this morning to this previous post.

From the Kennebec Journal:

AUGUSTA -- Cribbage players are confused.

Lawmakers are confused.

And Maine State Police say rules governing games of chance are anything but easy to explain.

Two weeks ago, a state inspector shut down cribbage games and tournaments at American Legion Post 4 in Gardiner.


The Gardiner Legion wasn't the only veterans' organization visited by a state inspector.

Al Michaud, quarter master at the Waterville Veterans of Foreign War, said cribbage is no longer played at that post since a state inspector stopped in.

The Augusta VFW also pulled its boards.

Shawn O'Conner, quartermaster at that VFW, said his post has no intention of applying for a game of chance license. It's too expensive.

The post could purchase a special license for just $7.50 a year, provided it charged no more than $1 a person and players did not gamble even a penny. Otherwise, a yearly license is $700.

Come on, guys. It's "for the children", dontcha know? What's wrong with you? Are you anti-children or something?

"The rules are there; we don't understand them," O'Conner said. "(Cribbage) is like playing monopoly or dominos. We don't know where the law came from. They just made it up. In Waterville, they went in and confiscated their cribbage boards and cards. They were just playing for fun and not having a tournament or anything. Just a couple of guys playing at the bar."

We're from the government, and we're here to help.

Seriously, WTF?

I'd hate to see what they would have done had the "offenders" been playing a friendly game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

As a commenter here noted earlier, and has been mentioned recently on a Boston talk radio show, the governor seems to be coming down on the right side of this issue.

Speaking on behalf of the governor, David Farmer said the governor believes the law is outdated and needs to be modernized. Farmer said the key to this law is that it has to do with establishments where liquor and food is sold and cribbage games and tournaments are used to make money.

"It clearly wasn't what was going on at the American Legion and we need to fix that," Farmer said. "We're going to have to do it through the law, but the governor has asked the Department of Public Safety to work on a fix. I'm not sure what that will mean or what it will look like, but it clearly needs to be modernized. It needs to take into account levels of harmless activity."

I can only manage how many legislative manhours will be now be wasted trying to "modernize" the law.

I guess we'll have to wait for the final report form the soon-to-be empaneled Cribbage Legislation Task Force (which will be reporting directly to the new Blue Ribbon Card Game Commission, operating under the bureaucratic umbrella of the State Police Leisure Activity Enforcement Squad).

Last, but not least, please welcome Cribbaholics Unanimous to the blogroll. A timely addition, as his latest post covers an important story I've been woefully lax in getting around to posting.

Cribbage player Pedroia wins rookie of the year...

Yeah, baby!