Montana Charity Casino Night Cancelled - Friday 27th of January 2006

LAUREL, Montana – As reported by the Billings Gazette: "There will not be a fundraising 'casino night' Saturday in Laurel. However, there will be a 'Poker Party Plus.'

"The Laurel Jaycees' plans for one of its traditional casino nights to raise money for Project HELP have been canceled after the state Department of Justice stepped in.

"Jaycee Howard Rickard said he received a phone call from the Justice Department after The Billings Gazette published an article about the night of gaming followed by an auction. The Jaycess have held these events for a number of years and count its annual spring party as a major fundraiser, he said.

"The plan was to hold a casino night to raise money for playground equipment at a Laurel park. Rickard said state officials with whom he spoke were kind, but firm, and told him that casino nights are illegal if they include games such as blackjack and roulette, which are banned under Montana law.

"…After researching state law and hoping to still entertain the dozens of people who have purchased tickets to the event, Rickard said organizers will hold an entertainment-only - meaning no-risk - game night.

"The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Jaycees hall at Riverside Park. Admission costs $5 and gets players $5,000 in fake money to play with and a fistful of tickets for giveaways, which will be drawn during the night…"

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