Top Shelf Poker Room is a card room offering services in Flint, Texas that was recently raided by police and shut down after being accused of illegal gambling. The poker room operates like others in the state as a private social club. Players pay membership dues to take part, plus fees for access to the club. A traditional rake is not charged by the card room, which allows the businesses to operate within the law.
The owners are now fighting the potential charges with a GoFundMe account set up to help pay for legal costs. Attorneys have told co-owner Jesse Vann that it cost upwards of $100,000 to defend the case.
Details of the Raid
Vann was not on-site when the raid occurred a few days ago, but it resulted in the closure of the property. He was informed of the raid soon after it took place and saw the business assets frozen, including funds raised for charity.
According to Vann, who spoke with PokerNews, the poker room conducted a fundraiser for International Women’s Day, and the money raised from the event was taken by police. The co-owner says that police did not provide many details as to why the poker room was raided and shut down.
Vann says that the facility has a business license and is permitted to offer card room services. Smith County, where the card room is located, even had to approve the business model before services could begin.
Top Shelf Poker Room operates as a social club, charging a monthly membership fee of $25 or $200 a year. There is also an hourly seat fee and the amount depends on how many hours the poker player stays at the table.
No Wrong Doing
Investigators have reportedly been working undercover for many months to build their case against Top Shelf. When they felt they had enough to charge the facility with illegal gambling, they moved ahead with the raid.
Vann says that the club’s business model has not changed, and he does not take a rake, which would be illegal based on Texas laws. However, there are lawmakers who feel that even the membership model is illegal in the state.
The card room owner is now worried that he will face felony charges based on the raid. Attorneys have said it could cost as much as $100,000 to fight the case. Vann does not have the funds to pay for legal counsel, so a GoFundMe has been set up in the hopes of raising money to help.