We normally do not head to the police blotter to get news about poker, but it seems that some members of the poker community have ended up there in recent days. Former World Series of Poker bracelet winner Brent Carter has been arrested for threats against the government. Meanwhile, some players in Louisiana who were allegedly operating a poker room have been charged with illegal gambling.
WSOP Bracelet Winner Charged with Federal Crimes
In the state of New York, poker player Brent Carter was charged with a federal crime in the capitol of Albany. In that case, a criminal complaint alleges that Carter, a 72-year-old poker player who owns two WSOP bracelets, sent a “white, powdery mixture” from Las Vegas to the New York Gaming Commission. Carter is alleged to have sent this material on four separate occasions dating between April 2019 and January 2021. Furthermore, Carter allegedly left voicemails to Gaming Commission personnel that indicated a predilection to killing members of the government organization, saying that the 2017 Las Vegas shooting “looks like it missed you guys.”
In each of the cases regarding the mail, it was ascertained that the substance was not a biological threat. Drywall, talcum powder, birdseed, and other non-lethal substances made up the bulk of Carter’s mailings. Carter himself was interviewed by investigators from New York in October 2020, when Carter made several lame excuses for what he was alleged to have done. The investigators would have probably written off the case if it had not been for another alleged mailing in January 2021 that indicated Carter did not get the message.
The charges brought against Carter are profoundly serious ones. Charged with conveying false information and hoaxes, Carter pled not guilty in court on Wednesday. If he is found guilty, Carter may face up to five years in prison and fines, although federal sentencing guidelines might be lesser.
It seems that there is a long-standing issue between Carter and the NYGC. Back in the 70s, the Gaming Commission suspended Carter’s license to compete in horse racing. Long ago the NYGC supposedly reinstated Carter’s license, but his animosity towards the organization has continued unabated. Some have admitted that Carter has become “a bit radicalized” regarding the government and its actions, but it is unknown if this has been the catalyst for his alleged actions over the charges he faces.
Five Arrested in Louisiana For Gambling Violations
Wednesday also saw the arrest of five men in Louisiana for operating an illegal poker room out of a social club in Baton Rouge.
Those five men were:
The Louisiana State Police allege that the five men were financing, operating and looking for more business for the action in their poker games. These games violated the law in the Bayou State by taking a rake off the action on the tables. Gambling in Louisiana is only legal if it is done in a licensed casino and the 5th Street Social Club, where the five men allegedly operated their games, did not have such a license.
Television reports show that 5th Street Social Club had blacked out windows and was “members only.” Those same reports also point out the obvious – if the operators had not been taking a rake from the play, they probably would not have been charged. Under Louisiana law, illegal gambling is a felony offense and can be punished with jail time and significant fines.