Indiana agency : No action planned over card game prizes

Indiana agency : No action planned over card game prizes

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana senior center has stopped offering prizes like cookies & toilet paper in euchre card games in which residents paid a few dollars to play after state officials warned them the practice constituted gambling.

Judy Elton, director of the Delaware County Senior Citizens Center in Muncie, said the center stopped offering prizes after the Indiana Gaming Commission contacted her last week.

However, Gaming Commission Executive Director Sara Tait told The Star Press on Monday (http://tspne.ws/1LohhfJ ) that her agency never had plans to take action against the games.

p>"Card games like these are very similar to developing a Final Four bracket or $5 poker night with friends," Tait said. "The Indiana Gaming Commission uses a usual sense litmus test & did not, & never had, any plans to take enforcement action against this euchre club."

The agency, acting on a complaint, responded by sending "a form email with information approximately the kinds of licenses available. We distribute regularly such email information following the receipt of a complaint," Tait said.

The flap over the games even captured the attention of Republican Gov. Mike Pence.

When "Pence became aware of the situation in Muncie this morning, he directed the Indiana Gaming Commission to make sure it does not have any plans to shut down euchre card games at the Delaware County Senior Citizens Center or to take enforcement action against them. He has asked the Commission to review its procedures to ensure usual sense prevails when reviewing complaints & concerns," spokeswoman Kara Brooks said in a statement Monday afternoon.

At the Muncie senior center, Eton said the euchres games have gone on without prizes.

"The seniors are outraged," Elton said Monday. "I've encouraged them to write their state representatives."

She & members of the center's board are concerned approximately the loss of revenue it received from approximately 50 euchre players. The center was given approximately $1 of the $2.50 fee collected by the euchre club, Elton said, adding that it usually pulls in approximately $30 for a three-hour session.

"We're not talking approximately a tremendous deal of money here," she said.

Berylda Wilson, 88, has enjoyed playing euchre with her friends at the center for 15 years.

"We play five games & we have snacks, then play five more games," Wilson said. "Whoever has the high score gets to come up & pick a prize. We use the money to buy the prizes with & we buy sympathy cards or go out to dinner if there's money left. We all obtain our money back."

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Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com

Source: “Associated Press”

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