|7/3/2017 1:16:00 PM|
Dealing from fresh deck on social gaming
By Sue StaffordAnyone who looked could have found (social) gambling at an establishment in Sisters. They probably wouldn't have even been shocked.
It was, however, technically not allowed.
Last week, the Sisters City Council shuffled the deck and dealt again on that issue, approving an ordinance granting businesses the right to run social gaming in their establishments and for patrons to participate in the gaming.
In the 1940s, Sisters had a social gaming ordinance but, when the Oregon state lottery was established in the 1980s, the old ordinances that cities had in effect were eliminated. If a city wanted to allow social gaming, a new ordinance was required. Sisters' council back then held an advisory community vote which indicated that a majority of the citizens who voted didn't favor social gaming.
Times have changed, and there is a group of 20-35 people who regularly meet for poker upstairs at Sisters Saloon and Ranch Grill every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Owner Aaron Okura suspended the games when it was discovered that Sisters had no ordinance allowing social gaming.
The City drafted and Council approved an ordinance permitting social gaming in Sisters, joining the ranks of the other Central Oregon cities. The Wednesday evenings are a $20 buy-in poker tournament. Okura doesn't run the poker games and the saloon doesn't receive any poker-generated funds. He simply hosts the tournament.
A community tradition is now officially sanctioned by a City ordinance. Establishments wishing to operate social gaming must pay a $100 annual fee to the City for a gaming license.
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