Top SC prosecutor: Casual poker games not illegal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The office of South Carolina's top prosecutor says casual in-home poker games do not violate a state law against card or dice games.

Assistant Attorney General Sonny Jones told the state Supreme Court on Tuesday that organized games like one held by five men in Mount Pleasant in 2006 are illegal because the game was advertised on the Internet and took in money for the house.

The justices are hearing arguments Tuesday on an appeal of a Charleston judge's ruling that Texas Hold'em is a game of skill, not chance.

Jones is appealing a Charleston judge's ruling to overturn the men's convictions. Circuit Judge Markley Dennis also ruled that Texas Hold 'Em is a game of skill, not chance. Jones says that issue is not part of his appeal.

An attorney for the five men said his clients were playing casually and only took money at the door to cover food costs. The justices will issue their decision in several months.

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