EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) – On Monday the owner of an Eau Claire tavern was charged with a felony after investigators say they discovered an illegal gambling game with a huge jackpot.
But that got many of our viewers on social media wondering why is this game illegal?
As we reported, the state’s alcohol and tobacco enforcement unit got a tip about Big T’s Saloon shake-of-the-day dice game.
Investigators observed the illegal dice game with a jackpot of $31,000 along with several other illegal gambling games.
Matthew Kirsche, a criminal defense attorney not involved in this case, said we have state criminal statutes that say you can not make a bet or participate in the earnings from gambling unless authorized by the legislature.
Krische said in this case, this large sum of money may not have been reported or taxed, which is what would be alarming to ATF.
“I don’t think that a case like this is going to quell any taverns from having the shake-of-the-day, but you might have people on both sides of the issue. Some are going to see this as enforcement of a valid law. Others are going to see it as perhaps overreach from the state. It’ll be interesting to see what side this comes down on,” Kirsche said.
Krische admits that many bars probably have shake-of-the-day, pull tabs and gambling machines, but unless it’s a large amount of money, it probably wouldn’t catch authorities attention.
Some exceptions to the gambling rules include religious organizations, charities, veterans organizations hosting raffles or the jackpot of the state lottery so long as they’re giving the money to charity or it’s being used for public works purposes.