Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesA man who was kicked out of a Branson, Missouri Monopoly tournament last year for unsportsmanlike like conduct was asked in advance of this year’s tournament not to return. Nevertheless, dedicated as he was to the game, he showed up anyway and then attacked some of the attendees when he was refused entry. Police were called in [there’s just no way to say this without it sounding like a joke] and he was taken directly to jail. He’s now facing charges for third-degree assault (three counts), disturbing the peace, and trespassing.

For a Philadelphia school’s dress-as-a-board-game Halloween celebration, a middle school dean and history teacher attempted a costume of Colonel Mustard from Clue. He carried a jar of mustard and around his neck wore a noose from which was suspended an image of the game character. Some, however, found the teacher’s dress-up offensive, saying it was suggestive of racially-based lynchings.

Police in Altamonte Springs, Florida broke up a game of Mahjong, after which managers of the condominium clubhouse that was the site of the game told the players, a group of retired women ages 87-95, not to return. Later, when the women were able to demonstrate that Florida law specifically permits “penny-ante” gambling, they were welcomed back.

After a long period of mutual hostility, a man in Hong Kong caught up with his enemy in a storefront Mahjong game and, as other players watched, stabbed him to death while shouting, “Great fun.” The murderer has since been found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

The IRS has denied 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit status to GameHearts, an organization that promotes sobriety among alcoholics by providing a recreational outlet with Magic: The Gathering. The IRS’s reasoning seems to focus on the fact that Magic is a commercial product and therefore while GameHearts does serve a charitable purpose, it also serves a commercial purpose. This no matter that there exists 501(c)(3)-approved sports sobriety organizations despite the fact that sports equipment is also sold by companies for profit.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked the state Supreme Court to shut down fantasy sports leagues operated by FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo, claiming they are illegal gambling. In defending its service as skill-based (and therefore not gambling as defined by New York law), DraftKings’ attorney pointed to the AG’s own previous statement that less than 11 percent of participants are regular winners. “That doesn’t happen when players cannot influence the outcome.”

A group of people playing dice by the side of the road during the Diwali festival in Imphal, India were struck by a speeding car. Six people were killed and six more seriously injured.

Gail Gygax, widow of the late Gary Gygax, has settled a trademark dispute with TSR, Inc. over the name of the latter’s publication, Gygax Magazine. The agreement between the parties has the Gail C. Gygax Revocable Trust licencing the Gygax Magazine trademark to TSR on a non-exclusive basis. Apparently unhappy with the resolution, Luke and Ernie Gygax, sons of Gary Gygax by a previous marriage, have resigned from their positions TSR (which, to be clear, is not the same company founded by their father).

In Pawtucket, Rhode Island, a thief was caught on surveillance video stealing off a man’s doorstep packages from Amazon containing the Walking Dead and Firefly board games ordered as Christmas presents for his kids.

Responding to a major cheating scandal in the world of Bridge—a scandal that implicated some of the game’s highest-ranked players—the World Bridge Federation is instituting new procedures for receiving and investigating complaints of unethical behavior. In general, judgments and sanctions will remain the responsibility of national and zonal organizations. However, a new secure website will allow the WBF to record allegations and collect data, and a panel of experts will advise the High Level Players Commission as it investigates.

An investigation by the organization China Labor Watch found significant problems with working conditions at toy factories manufacturing products for Mattel, Hasbro, Jakks Pacific, and other companies. In response, Green America has launched a campaign asking Hasbro and Disney to take action.

The practice of the Trinidad & Tobago government of prioritizing disadvantaged youth over accomplished and ranked players for grants to travel to international Chess tournaments has some complaining.

Some in Melbourne, Australia find Winning Moves’ practice of selling sponsorships for Monopoly board spaces inappropriate, calling it a “shakedown”. As if creating localized Monopoly games was a public service rather than a business venture?

VTech, maker of electronic learning toys for kids, suffered a data breach. The security of customer profiles was compromised but payment information, including credit card numbers, was not.

A game of Trivial Pursuit with the family of a long-passed close friend, triggered an elderly woman’s memory about how her friend had been a spy for the British during World War II—a double-agent, in fact. Seeing as her friend was no longer alive and the war was more than 50 years over, she figured it was about time to let the family in on the secret.

A man was shot and killed after getting in to an argument with another man during a game of Dominoes in Oakland, California. Police are not sure whether the argument was about the game or another matter.

Facing charges for sexual contact with minors, a man in Maine wrote notes of apology to his victims and then stored those notes in a box for the board game Sorry.

Three men have been charged with murder and robbery for allegedly shooting and killing two other men, and wounding two more, in an argument over a dice game in Indianapolis.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, a man who declined to gamble on a dice game was robbed instead.

According to police in Milwaukee, a man who recently shot and killed another did it in revenge for losing money in an earlier dice game.