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Joe Francis: Hollywood Poker Is 'Perfectly Legal'

6/23/2011 1:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Girls Gone Wild" kingpin Joe Francis -- who was named as a player in the Tobey Maguire poker scandal -- is adamant the card games are "perfectly legal" ... and he can back it up!

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Francis was leaving Katsuya in Hollywood last night ... when he told us the legendary Hollywood games have been going on for "quite a while."

Joe also claimed he had a lawyer research the law about private poker games and found out, "As long as [the games] are between those few [players] and there's no house that takes a commission ... all these games that go on in Hollywood are perfectly legal."

TMZ spoke with powerhouse poker attorney Marc Zwillinger -- who reps the interests of poker players including through the Poker Players Alliance -- who backed up Joe's claim ... telling us, "Private home games in California are not illegal where there is no 'house.'"


37 COMMENTS

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1.

Bubbles The Chimp    

Oh Yes. Words from 'Jailbirds' are always something to live by.

1226 days ago
2.

freedom40    

Fuglay!

1226 days ago
3.

BarrysConspiracyWorld    

It is lame that they are going after private poker winnings

1226 days ago
4.

R    

So, it appears legal. Now, do they have to claim winnings over a certain amount and pay taxes on that?

1226 days ago
5.

Truth    

NO ONE SAID PLAYING PRIVATE POKER IS ILLEGAL... BUT PLAYING PRIVATE POKER WITH ILLEGAL MONEY IS. THAT'S THE POINT, GENIUSES! NEXT.

1226 days ago
6.

Superman    

Ummmmmmmmm, yeah. Wouldn't the $100,000 entry fee per player be considered the "commission" or "house"?!? BUSTED! Go directly to prison.

1226 days ago
7.

Chef Jack Tripper    

White, rich and famous!!! I wish I was at least two of these so I could break the law and get away with it too.

1226 days ago
8.

Pimpcessa    

I gotta say, the LAST person I would take legal advice from is Jailbrid Francis. Guess he just wanted a few more minutes in the sun....I mean camera lense?? Good to know TMZ researched it with a real attorney, cuz now I feel ENLIGHTENED, haha.

1226 days ago
9.

Truth    

@MIGHTYSTUPID

How were they suppose to know whether or not that guy's money was legal or not? What, they have to do credit check first before letting anyone play from now on, GENIUS?
____________________________________

OBVIOUSLY, THE PERSON WHO IS UNDER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION KNEW HE WAS USING ILLEGAL FUNDS... JUST BECUZ THE OTHER PLAYERS DINT KNOW DOES NOT MAKE THEM INNOCENT. IGNORANCE IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE DEFENSE UNDER THE EYES OF THE LAW ---> WHICH HAPPENS EVERY FREAKIN DAY. SO IF YOU'RE PLAYING CARDS WITH A KNOWN DRUG DEALER AND ACCEPTING FUNDS DOES THAT MAKE U INNOCENT EVEN THOUGH YOU WERENT DEALING THE DRUGS IN THE FIRST PLACE? OF COURSE NOT... IT'S CALLED SIPHONING AND HIDING FUNDS. AND WHO'S TO SAY THEY DIDNT KNOW WHO THEY WERE PLAYING WITH, GENIUS?? OF COURSE THE LAWYERS WILL CLAIM STUPIDITY AND SAY THEY DIDNT KNOW ABOUT THE DUDE THEY WERE PLAYING CARDS WITH FOR YEARS. MORONS.

1226 days ago
10.

Carl    

Joe Francis is the last person I'd rely on for legal advice.

1226 days ago
11.

NAC    

You still have to pay taxes on the winnings. And, unless you are registered with the Feds as a professional gambler, you may not deduct the losses.

1226 days ago
12.

Chef Jack Tripper    

A six yr old white kid can draw better graf than that. Correction: a six yr old blind white kid.

1226 days ago
13.

JOhn    

It does not matter if the game was legal or not. A bankruptcy trustee can reach back to transfers by a debtor who was deemed to be insolvent prior to the filing. How about the Madoff investors who received payments and then had to pay back some of the money they received. I know somebody who was paid $100k on an outstanding invoice and 3 to 4 months later had to pay the money back. The court made the arguments that he had been preferentially paid before other creditors.

1226 days ago
14.

Utazdevl    

Well, as long as the accused rapist and child pornographer says it is legal...

1226 days ago
15.

ptay    

Yes, because he is just the moral barometer for which we are all to follow. Him, the guy who came up with the idea to profit off of taking advantage and ruining the lives of drunk girls, having them sign release waivers while inebriated. But if this guy can legally get away with violating the rights of women, I'm sure he can get away with his stupid gambling. Better he play poker in some losers house then manipulate two young girls to have sex on camera. This way, everyone remembers it the next morning and no one is shamed for life.

1226 days ago
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