Last week we
blogged about the ability to have Bingo games in our
communities. I may be wrong, but I have never seen Bingo games
catch on among men. Generally, Bingo is for the women, while
the men like to play cards, more specifically poker and rummy.
My dad loved both and never once went to play bingo. As far as
he was concerned, “It was for girls.”
game in my house growing up was Mah Jong. When I was a child,
every Tuesday night my mom would play. Every 4th or
5th Tuesday my mom would be the host. That meant one
thing to me: Lots of cookies and cake. I also remember trying
to fall asleep in my room over my mom’s friend’s yelling “4 bam”
“2 crack” “Mah Jong.” Occasionally the game would run very
late, even when Johnny Carson was coming on at 11:30. Great
Most of us
like some form of gambling as long as we stay within our means.
The laws in the State of Florida allow for friendly at home
gambling where as long as the statute is complied with, the
thinking is that nobody stands to get clobbered. Here are the
Statute 849.085 states:
(2) As used
in this section:
(a) “Penny-ante game” means a game or series of games of poker,
pinochle, bridge, rummy, canasta, hearts, dominoes, or mah-jongg
in which the winnings of any player in a single round, hand, or
game do not exceed $10 in value.
(b) “Dwelling” means residential premises owned or rented by a
participant in a penny-ante game and occupied by such
participant or the common elements or common areas of a
condominium, cooperative, residential subdivision, or mobile
home park of which a participant in a penny-ante game is a unit
owner, or the facilities of an organization which is tax-exempt
under s. 501(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code. The term
“dwelling” also includes a college dormitory room or the common
recreational area of a college dormitory or a publicly owned
community center owned by a municipality or county.
penny-ante game is subject to the following restrictions:
(a) The game
must be conducted in a dwelling.
(b) A person
may not receive any consideration or commission for allowing a
penny-ante game to occur in his or her dwelling.
(c) A person
may not directly or indirectly charge admission or any other fee
for participation in the game.
(d) A person
may not solicit participants by means of advertising in any
form, advertise the time or place of any penny-ante game, or
advertise the fact that he or she will be a participant in any
penny-ante game may not be conducted in which any participant is
under 18 years of age.
(4) A debt
created or owed as a consequence of any penny-ante game is not
conduct of any penny-ante game within the common elements or
common area of a condominium, cooperative, residential
subdivision, or mobile home park or the conduct of any
penny-ante game within the dwelling of an eligible organization
as defined in subsection (2) or within a publicly owned
community center owned by a municipality or county creates no
civil liability for damages arising from the penny-ante game on
the part of a condominium association, cooperative association,
a homeowners’ association as defined in s. 720.301, mobile home
owners’ association, dwelling owner, or municipality or county
or on the part of a unit owner who was not a participant in the
So there you
have it. Gambling is allowed in our condos and HOAs as long as
the pots don’t exceed $10.00 and all of the other provisions
listed above are followed. A few years ago a few elderly women
were investigated by their local Sheriff’s Office for running
high stakes mah -jong games. The allegations proved false. But
until they received the all clear from the cops, the condo
board, unnerved by the police visit, immediately closed the
clubhouse to all games where money might change hands.
these women on the Condo Craze Radio Show as guests. They asked
me to come up to Orlando to see the game for myself and when I
got there, I would have brisket, kreplach and matzo-ball soup
waiting for me when I got there. To this day I regret not
taking them up on their offer.