PLEASANTVILLE, S.C., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A judge in South Carolina says five people caught playing poker in a private house must pay what they owe in fines for violating state gambling laws.
Pleasantville Municipal Judge Larry Duffy, in an order that seems almost certain to be appealed, said the law is unclear, which means the authorities must be given the benefit of the doubt, The Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier reported.
"It is and appears to have been the public policy of the state of South Carolina to suppress gambling and that gambling in all forms is illegal in South Carolina," he said.
The five men were given citations three years ago for a game of Texas Hold 'Em. They could be fined as much as several hundred dollars each.
A move is under way to change the state law to exempt private poker games from the gambling ban.