Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesExpecting to find an illegal gambling operation, Thai military police raiding a Pattaya Bridge club and arrested 32 people, mostly retirees, for illegal possession of playing cards. According to a 1935 law in Thailand, it is illegal to be in possession of more than 120 playing cards at a time. After intervention by the president of the Thai Bridge League, those arrested were released on bail.

A Melbourne, Australia court found a Chinese national, Long Sang Cheuk, guilty of smuggling methamphetamine in to the country packed in a bunch of board games. Unbeknownst to the board game shop that received the games, $6 million of the drug was hidden in 11 boxes. Staff, however, became suspicious and contacted police when Cheuk approached the store about acquiring the entire shipment.

A 59 year-old man in China who had a medical condition requiring a constant IV drip, nevertheless was playing Mahjong virtually nonstop for the new year holiday… up until, that is, he drew a particularly lucky hand and dropped dead from the excitement.

One man in Tobyhanna Township, Pennsylvania was arrested for punching and choking another man with whom he was arguing over a board game. Police charged the assailant with assault, harassment, and criminal mischief but did not name the game.

Someone stole $4,000 in cash and Magic: The Gathering cards from the Let’s Play! Cafe game store and video-game arcade in Monroe, Washington. The owners of the shop believe the thief hid in the store when they closed up for the night.

While an exclusivity deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida awaits legislature approval, the state has begun trying to close down Poker rooms at parimutuel locations, such as horse and dog tracks. One business that runs some of these rooms, Elevated LLC, however, is fighting back in court. The company is seeking an injunction to stop the state, arguing that the deal with the Seminole Tribe applies only to house-financed card games, while the subject Poker rooms host “designated-player games” (in which players wager against each other).

The Maryland state legislature has begun the process of legalizing certain small-stakes card games. The House of Delegates voted unanimously to permit gambling on cards and Mahjong, in private homes and senior residential facilities, among people with a prior social relationship, where the house takes no cut and charges no entry fee, up to a limit of $500 per day.

A man suspected of shooting three Park County, Colorado sheriff’s deputies has a history with the law. Twenty-one years ago he was arrested for shooting and killing his opponent in a Chess game.

There were dice game shootings in Hammond, Louisiana and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  No one died in either incident.