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Why Does Fox's I-Team Hate Charity Events for Cancer and Children?


Gotta love cheesy investigative journalism.

Acejail_1_2Here in Atlanta, Fox News's I-Team just aired a feature on charity/fundraiser poker games in Georgia.

We’ve posted numerous times about cops busting up free or charity games in other states.  But damn, it's not like these are charity snuff films.  If people are willing to donate some dollars by playing poker, who really cares?  The charity is happy to get the money.  The players are happy to have gotten some bang out of their charity buck by doing something they enjoy.  We even hosted a charity game, and we were very proud to do it.

But it's the hypocrisy of the whole thing that really gets us...

RussellUnlike other states, no big charity poker busts have made the news in Georgia. That will likely change thanks to Fox’s I-Team investigative team (apparently, there is an I in "investigative journalism), headed by poker+charity-hater Dale Russell (at left).  In fact, we've already seen one such casualty in just the past day.

Grinch Russell went to a number of hold’em games around town, starting off his story at an Elk’s Club that was hosting a fundraiser hold’em event where 10% of the $50 entry went to charity. Winner’s didn’t receive cash, but pre-paid Visa cards.  If any money went to charity, it's tough to tell.  Admittedly, this opp looked a little shady, but the majority of charity hold'em games around town are very much on the up and up.

For example, the norm would be in the form of a Shriner that Russell interviewed named Mike Fencil. Shriner Fencil held a charity poker tournament because it raised more money than knocking on car windows at stoplights. He even got the OK from a Gwinnett County Prosecutor named Gerald Blaney to host the event. But from here, Russell cuts to our Attorney General, Thurbert Baker, who tells us, “Playing poker for money is gambling. And Gambling in Georgia is illegal.” Really Thurbert? I suppose our state lottery then isn’t a form gambling? And don’t all of those proceeds go to educational programs, which certainly would be a form of charity? How exactly is this different than hosting charity poker tournaments to benefit hurricane disaster relief, cancer, or children’s charities? Where's the consistency in the law?

But Dale Russell, who clearly was that hall monitor you hated in grade school, digs further when finding multiple locations—including synagogues—holding these hold’em events. Russell says (as he walks through our state capital building), “We found these illegal games all over the city as if somebody passed a law saying, “You can now gamble in Georgia. Only, that didn’t happen.”   

Atty_gen_new_04_1Later, Attorney General Baker says, "...any time you're gambling in the state of Georgia, it's illegal."  Um...you can gamble in Georgia.  Go to any gas station in the state, buy a scratch off or lottery ticket.  What's worse is the lottery feasts on low-income minority men.  Charity hold'em fundraisers typically bring in a different demographic.  Makes a lot of sense, yes?

We're later warned by the Chief of Covington's police deptartment that anyone playing poker in a charity event or bar is breaking the law and could be arrested.  Over the past two years, there have been 232 gambling arrests in 20 metro ATL police departments, or 6 arrests per deptartment/per year.

That will likely increase now thanks to poker-charity-hating Dale Russell and Fox News

Needy children, hurricane victims, and all sorts of other charity beneficiaries thank you.

Tune in next week as Dale Russell clubs a few baby seals and makes fur coats out of puppies.

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doug m

I can understand your viewpoint, but the truth is that the state law needs to be changed in order to make chairty poker events legal. 16-12-20 1 B is the part of the criminal code that addresses gambling in Georgia. Because we are in the bible belt you are better off to just have the games, and keep it on the down low.

Mr. Slave

Dale can go sit on that Peabody Award. I know I would.


maybe i should go on a crime spree so that there wouldn't be a slow news day. the irony is that i could start my crime spree by playing poker for charity...

does anyone watch Fox anyway?

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