Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesIn Pakistan, a man died after consuming more than a dozen bottles of soda to satisfy a wager over a game of Carrom.

In Chonggu, Qingpu district, China a man intended to torch a Mahjong parlor but ended up setting fire to himself and two others. The man was upset because he believed that his wife was having an affair with someone from the club. However, while he was dousing the parlor’s gate with gasoline, the father and son owners of the parlor rushed him. During the struggle, all three became soaked. Then the arsonist ignited his lighter.

A 16 year-old caught cheating during the 2013 Cork Chess Congress (he was found consulting a computer in a bathroom during a game) has been banned from tournament play for 4 months by the Irish Chess Union. However, the adult who found him in the bathroom and accused him of cheating (who was also the teen’s opponent) was banned from all activities for 10 months.

Legislators in South Carolina are considering a bill that would legalize games played by clubs and social groups in homes and community centers. Strict reading of a still-on-the-books 1802 law forbids all games involving cards or dice. In fact, just last May a retirement community banned Bridge and Canasta groups from meeting rooms after being warned by state police that the games were illegal. But not everyone supports the bill. Some are concerned that changes to the law may inadvertently legalize gambling. In response, the state senator who sponsored the bill has threatened to sue and have the whole gaming law thrown out if his more careful revisions aren’t passed.

An underground Poker club in New York City was raided by police and is also being sued by the city. The lead organizer of the club (who was present during the raid but escaped arrest) told a reporter that the club would continue because the potential earnings outweighed any risk of misdemeanor charges for promoting gambling.

Police in China broke up a con operation that would drug business men from Tongxiang and then convince them that they had lost money playing Mahjong. One man racked up debts of 2 million Yuan.

Hasbro finds itself the subject of a lawsuit over the abandonment of the National Scrabble Association. John D. Williams claims that in return for promoting the game and running tournaments, the publisher agreed to pay him $10,000 for each 1 percent increase in Scrabble’s sales. In court papers, he asks for $1 million and states that Hasbro has sold 150 million Scrabble games since 1982.

The Wilbraham, Massachusetts Board of Appeals denied Michael Farnham a permit to open a game store. However, board members indicated that it wasn’t the CCGs and RPGs they were concerned about, but rather the swords, knives, and paintball guns that Farnham also planned to sell there.

Two Germans are being stripped of their gold medals from the last world championship Bridge match. A recently concluded investigation by the World Bridge Federation, found that the two had surreptitiously communicated by coded coughs. In addition to losing their medals, the two men have been prohibited from partnering for life, and from playing even separately in any WBF tournament for 10 years.

Spin Master is suing two factories in China for making knockoffs of Flutterbye Fairy.

In Changning, China, a man was stabbed to death at a Mahjong and Chess parlor. Police have not caught the perpetrator but believe the incident started as an argument over a debt.

Two friends leaving a Chess match in Dallas were attacked by a man with a knife.

A professional Poker player was found beaten to death in his London home, just after an evening in which he had won £3,000 at a local casino. Robbery is the suspected motive, though there was no evidence of forced entry.

The BBC caused an uproar when characters in Jonathan Creek, a detective television show, used a derogatory term for people of color in an on-screen game of Scrabble.

Though Slide Martins (homeless and real name, Brian Glide) of Cambridge, UK thought that offering to play Chess with strangers would keep him from running afoul of the law, he was nevertheless convicted of begging… and also of urinating on a church building in public view. On the streets, he is accompanied by his dogs, Check and Mate.

The Parliament of Paraguay has passed a law requiring that Chess be taught in all basic and secondary schools.

A man was shot at a Dominoes game in front of someone’s home in Savannah. His injuries are not life threatening. A man shot while playing Dominoes in front of a home in Ft. Lauderdale, however, was killed. At least the perpetrator in the latter case was found and arrested.

Lincoln, Nebraska’s second murder of the year started with an argument over a dice game.

In San Francisco, seven people were shot during an argument at a street dice game. All survived.

When police in Syracuse broke up a street dice game, one teenage player ran, dropping a handgun. He was arrested after a short foot-chase and struggle.

In Texas, a man with a previous conviction was sentenced to 53 years in prison for breaking the jaw of a rival gang member and stealing his money at a dice game.

A Chicago man was sentenced to 75 years in prison for shooting another man in the back of the head while the two were leaving a dice game in 2011.

A Memphis man was sentenced to life in prison for killing another man in a dispute over multiple dice games.

Nashville police arrested a man for a dice game shooting that took place last September.