Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesAn inmate at the Dane County Jail in Madison, Wisconsin used a shiv made from a Scrabble game letter tray to threaten a deputy and lock him in a cell.

SCS Direct, publisher of the Humanity Hates Trump card game, is suing Cards Against Humanity for blocking the former’s Kickstarter project. According to SCS, the company made a number of changes to accommodate CAH but remaining at-contention is the black-and-white color scheme for cards.

The conflict over the Villains & Vigilantes RPG has finally been resolved with a settlement of the case that allows Jeff Dee and Jack Herman to publish the game while citing Scott Bizar as trademark owner.

Two class-action lawsuits were filed against Wizards of the Coast, claiming that Magic: The Gathering judges are employees entitled to wages, breaks, and other benefits. WOTC, of course, disagrees. Shortly thereafter, the company announced a restructuring of payments to participants in its professional tournaments, reducing Pro Tour appearance fees and increasing the prize pool for World Championships. A few thought the move might be connected to the lawsuits. Many thought it unfair, coming as it did in the middle of a season where players had already spent considerable money and effort trying to qualify for the payments. Just 2 days later, WOTC acknowledged the change a mistake and reversed its decision.

A former chairman of the Local Water Utilities Administration in Manila has been indicted for improperly funneling 1.5 million pesos to the National Chess Federation of the Philippines. The money was designated for a tournament but according to prosecutors, the utility had no business sponsoring such events. Instead, they say the gift was a result of the chairman’s personal connection to the organization, which had agreed to name the tournament in his honor.

Several FIDE-affiliated individuals and corporations, including Anatoly Karpov, David Kaplan, Chess Lane, Chess News Agency, and the late Bobby Fischer, have been mentioned in the Panama Papers. The Russian Chess Federation sent me an email to let me know that the Andrey Filatov mentioned was not its president.

FIDE has suspended the Ukranian Chess Federation for failing to pay the world body its fees for the Women’s World Championship held in Lviv. This prevents players associated with the Ukranian federation from participating in any tournament that leads to either the World Championship or Olympiads, and it means that their rating numbers have been removed from FIDE’s official rosters (and website).

Someone has been trying to con board game companies out of free copies, claiming games were stolen from his car and asking the companies to replace them. In fact, it appears that he may have never have owned them in the first place.

In Chongqing, China, a 6 year old boy died after falling from his family’s 21st floor apartment while his mother was out playing Mahjong.

Also in Chongqing, an 11 year old girl twice within 3 days lodged complaints with police that her father was too obsessed with Mahjong to stay home and take care of her. After the second time, she refused to go home with him and was picked up by an uncle. The father admitted that he enjoyed Mahjong and was hoping that his ex-wife would take the girl.

For the first time, Japan has granted work visas to e-sports professionals. Two video game players from Korea were awarded category 3 entertainment visas, the same given to professional athletes.

However, the Japanese magazine, BUBKA, criticized paid professional gamers and said that playing Magic: The Gathering is childish and Shogi a waste of time.

As I reported last month, a longstanding Chess group was told by mall management not to play any more in the food court of the Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Since then, local support, including a telephone call to mall management from West Vancouver’s mayor, an offer for alternative play space from a grocery store and a restaurant, and a planned a sit-in by a local church, has the mall backing off total eviction. A new designated Chess space will be provided in the mall, just not in the food court.

Not far away, in Sechelt, BC, another group of Chess players was evicted from the public restaurant of the private Sunshine Golf and Country Club.

Responding to an FBI probe of possible corruption in the New York City police department, two officials claimed that they paid a businessman back for travel expenses by purchasing him a $5,000 backgammon set.

Cellbrite, the Israel-based digital forensics company that helped the FBI crack the iPhone belonging to the attackers in San Bernardino, California, is actually a subsidiary of a Japanese company that makes Pachinko equipment.

A backpack with a sizeable collection of valuable Magic: The Gathering cards was stolen at Grand Prix New York. But police got a pic of the culprit off surveillance video.

Ax murder at a Dominoes game—except the murder wasn’t about the game but rather over a $50 lottery ticket.

A San Francisco police officer claimed that the man he arrested for carrying a gun was playing dice on the street, then ran when approached. Video from a nearby security camera shows otherwise.

Noticing a lack of professional affiliations for the female characters in Clue (A.K.A. Cluedo), while the male characters include a professor and a colonel, John Chaneski posted online a petition that asks Hasbro to change Mrs. White to Dr. White.

A con-man pretending to be the director of a provincial development committee in China would bet big at a Mahjong parlor to impress his potential marks. The thing is, the man forgot that his assumed identity was fake and started telling his family and police that he was part of the committee.

A Federal Circuit Court judge in Australia has ordered the Tiy Loy Mahjong club in Sydney to pay more than $50,000 in penalties and $400,000 in compensation for reducing a tea-server’s working hours after he filed a worker’s compensation claim for a leg injury.

A member of the Richmond City Council was caught playing Scrabble on their tablet during an important budget meeting.

One man stabbed another man to death during a dice game in Pretoria, South Africa.

The alleged perpetrator of a dice game shooting in Birmingham, Alabama is being charged with capital murder.

A group of people were playing dice indoors in Kansas City, Missouri, when several others burst in and started shooting. One of the players was hit in the head, another in the leg.

In Memphis, Tennessee, a man sitting on the front porch with his friend was hit by gunfire from two people who had just gotten out of a car arguing about a earlier dice game.

Police in Flint, Michigan arrested 16 people on drugs, guns, and illegal gambling charges after breaking up a dice game in the driveway of an vacant house.

In Vallejo, California, two men, impatient for a third to pay-up after a just-completed dice game, beat him and stole his car while he was on his way to a bank to withdraw money. Police didn’t have any trouble finding them, though. They had taken the car back to the hotel that was the scene of the game.