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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 11. Gaming
Agency 15. Charitable Gaming Board
Chapter 50. Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament Regulations
5/14/2021

11VAC15-50-60. Operation and conduct of Texas Hold'em poker tournaments.

A. A Texas Hold'em poker tournament is a competition at which:

1. Players shall pay a fixed fee for entry into the competition and for a certain amount of poker chips for use in the competition;

2. Players may be allowed to pay an additional fee during set preannounced times of the competition to receive additional poker chips for use in the competition;

3. Players may be seated at one or more tables simultaneously playing Texas Hold'em poker games;

4. Players shall, upon running out of poker chips, be eliminated from the competition; and

5. A set preannounced number of players shall be awarded prizes of value according to how long such players remain in the competition.

B. Any competition that does not meet the requirements established in subsection A of this section is not permissible. A qualified organization or operator shall ensure its Texas Hold'em poker tournament meets the requirements established in subsection A of this section.

C. Operations of poker tournaments.

1. Participation in poker tournaments.

a. Qualified organizations shall (i) only manage, operate, and conduct a poker tournament after a permit has been issued by the department unless the qualified organization is exempted from obtaining or possessing a permit pursuant to § 18.2-340.23 of the Code of Virginia; or (ii) obtain a permit pursuant to 11VAC15-50-30 and contract with an operator that is registered pursuant to 11VAC15-50-40 to administer its poker tournament.

b. An operator shall only administer a poker tournament for a qualified organization (i) permitted by the department pursuant to 11VAC15-50-30, or (ii) exempted from obtaining or possessing a permit pursuant to § 18.2-340.23 of the Code of Virginia, and an operator shall only administer a poker tournament after it is registered pursuant to 11VAC15-50-40.

c. All persons participating as a player in a poker tournament shall be 18 years of age or older.

d. A qualified organization's game managers, volunteer game workers, volunteer dealers, charitable host representatives, their immediate family members, or persons residing in their household shall be permitted to participate or otherwise play in a poker tournament only as permitted in the applicable house rules.

e. An operator's directors, officers, owners, partners, tournament managers, employees, independent contractors, agents, their immediate family members, or persons residing in their household shall be permitted to participate or otherwise play in a poker tournament only as permitted in the applicable house rules.

f. The qualified organization is responsible for all actions performed by its game managers, volunteer game workers, volunteer dealers, and charitable host representatives.

2. Operations of tournaments.

a. During a poker tournament, if the qualified organization is managing, operating, and conducting its own poker tournament, then a game manager must be physically present during the entire duration of the poker tournament. If an operator is administering the poker tournament, then the operator's tournament manager must be physically present during the entire duration of the poker tournament and the charitable host representative must be present for a portion of the poker tournament and be physically or remotely available for all times a tournament is in play.

b. During a poker tournament, the qualified organization or operator shall provide badges for each of its game manager, operator's tournament manager, charitable host representative, dealers, and other game workers that shall be worn in a manner in which the badges are visible to players and to the department, its employees, or its agents during the duration of the poker tournament. A game manager, operator's tournament manager, charitable host representative, dealers, and other game workers shall also possess a current photo identification, such as a driver's license or other government issued identification. The game manager, tournament manager, charitable host representative, dealers, and other game workers shall provide the badge, current photo identification, or both upon request by the department, its employees, or its agents to do so. These badges shall meet the criteria set forth in 11VAC15-50-30 and 11VAC15-50-40.

c. If the qualified organization is managing, operating, and conducting its own poker tournament, then a game manager shall complete and sign a poker tournament reconciliation form within 48 hours of the end of the poker tournament as required by 11VAC15-50-110. If an operator is administering the poker tournament, then the operator's tournament manager and charitable host representative shall complete and sign a poker tournament reconciliation form within 48 hours of the end of the poker tournament as required by 11VAC15-50-110.

d. All persons involved in managing, operating, conducting, or administering a poker tournament shall be 18 years or age or older.

e. During the poker tournament, a qualified organization or operator may award players participating in the poker tournament prizes of value, the value of which may be determined by the game manager or the operator's tournament manager, under the following conditions, including:

(1) A player, within a specific period of time as determined by the game manager or the operator's tournament manager, wins the highest ranked hand;

(2) A player sitting on the seat randomly determined by the game manager or operator's tournament manager, at a specific period of time as determined by the game manager or the operator's tournament manager;

(3) Every player sitting at a single table that is randomly determined by the game manager or operator's tournament manager, at a specific period of time as determined by the game manager or the operator's tournament manager;

(4) A player that loses a hand that is the highest losing ranking hand, within a specific period of time as determined by the game manager or the operator's tournament manager;

(5) The last player who remains in the poker tournament who participated in the last man standing bet;

(6) An amount of poker chips, as determined by the game manager or operator's tournament manager, that are placed into the pot at a randomly selected table by the game manager or the operator's tournament manager before the hand begins, before any players place forced bets, commonly referred to as "blinds"; or

(7) Those players who pay an additional fee to receive additional poker chips at the set preannounced times for use in the poker tournament may be awarded prizes based on how long such player remains in the tournament, as determined by the game manager or the operator's tournament manager.

f. The game manager or the operator's tournament manager shall:

(1) Adhere to the definition of Texas Hold'em poker game as stated in § 18.2-340.16 of the Code of Virginia;

(2) Apply the ranking of hands and the rules of the poker tournament as governed by the official rules of the Poker Tournament Directors Association; and

(3) Apply the code of conduct and etiquette as governed by Robert's Rules of Poker.

g. For the purposes of maintaining integrity of the poker tournament, the dealer shall only be responsible for dealing playing cards and handling poker chips at the poker table during the poker tournament and not assigned any other duties or responsibilities not directly related to such activities.

h. If the charitable host representative is involved in any portion of the cash handling during a poker tournament administered by an operator, then the charitable host representative shall adhere to the operator's internal control policies and procedures that were submitted to the department by the operator pursuant to 11VAC15-50-40 E.

3. A qualified organization shall display prominently its charitable gaming permit during the poker tournament, and if the qualified organization uses an operator to administer its poker tournament, then the operator shall display its operator registration.

4. A game manager or, if a qualified organization uses an operator to administer its poker tournament, the qualified organization's charitable host representative and the operator's tournament manager shall display prominently a poster advising the public of a phone number where complaints relating to the poker tournament may be made. Such posters shall be in a format prescribed by the department, as required by 11VAC15-50-170.

5. A game manager or, if a qualified organization uses an operator to administer its poker tournament, the qualified organization's charitable host representative and the operator's tournament manager shall display prominently a poster that bears a toll-free telephone number for "Gamblers Anonymous" or other organization that provides assistance to compulsive gamblers.

6. A game manager or, if a qualified organization uses an operator to administer its poker tournament, the qualified organization's charitable host representative and the operator's tournament manager shall display prominently any house rules, which shall govern the poker tournament beyond the official rules for poker tournaments established by the Poker Tournament Directors Association, and the code of conduct and etiquette as governed by Robert's Rules of Poker. Any house rules shall be consistent with the Charitable Gaming Statute, this chapter, and the official rules for poker tournaments established by the Poker Tournament Directors Association.

7. A game manager or, if a qualified organization uses an operator to administer its poker tournament, the qualified organization's charitable host representative and the operator's tournament manager shall ensure any poker chips, playing cards, or mechanical poker equipment used to conduct the poker tournament are not counterfeit, tampered with, or otherwise affect the integrity of the poker tournament prior to, during, and after the poker tournament. Any poker chips found to be counterfeit or playing cards or mechanical equipment found to be tampered with shall be removed immediately from the poker tournament. Such incidents shall be reported by the qualified organization or jointly by the qualified organization and operator to the department pursuant to 11VAC15-50-170.

8. A game manager or, if a qualified organization uses an operator to administer its poker tournament, the qualified organization's charitable host representative and the operator's tournament manager shall ensure all mechanical poker equipment is fully functional and maintains the integrity of the poker tournament prior to, during, and after the poker tournament. Any mechanical poker equipment not meeting these particular standards shall be removed immediately from the poker tournament by the game manager, or if the qualified organization uses an operator to administer its poker tournament, then the charitable host representative and the operator's tournament manager.

9. A qualified organization shall not manage, operate, or conduct its poker tournament or have its poker tournament administered by an operator in a facility or on premises that conducts gambling or gaming activities, unless such activities are authorized by Article 1.1:1 (§ 18.2-340.15 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia; Charitable Gaming Regulations (11VAC15-40); or this chapter.

10. Only qualified organizations, registered operators, and permitted charitable gaming suppliers shall advertise a poker tournament. Any printed advertisement is permitted, provided the name of the qualified organization shall be in a type size equal to or larger than the name of the premises used for the poker tournament, name of the operator, or any word referring to the poker tournament.

Statutory Authority

§§ 18.2-340.19 and 18.2-340.28:2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 17, eff. March 23, 2021.

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