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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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31.

writenow    

Joe Francis....is he really gay?

1028 days ago
32.

Superman    

There was a $100K buy-in. However, the "poker madam" that organized all this provided for everything, including "the felt-top tables presided over by professional dealers (who she employed), the food, the booze, a guest list -- and for some -- women." This stuff doesn't come free and it probably doesn't come cheap!!!! The payments that she received from the guy that ran the Ponzi scheme "range in amounts from as little as $700 all the way up to $100,000 -- payments which Molly Bloom received for 'services in coordinating, setting up, operating and managing the Poker Games.' "

As I said earlier today, when the sh*t hits the fan, people turn on each other. This chick that organized these poker games basically told on everyone and ran off to New York to hide away with her "commissions". She and the rest should be thrown in jail and pay a hefty fine. One good reason that these sideshow gambling games are illegal is to prevent FRAUD! Who's to say there wasn't some cheating going on?

The IRS will likely have many tax evasion cases also. I doubt any of them reported them as earnings, because then they would have to explain where the money came from.

1028 days ago
33.

Cuthbert    

"Joe also claimed he had a lawyer research the law about private poker games"

Were the researchers the same people Trump sent to Hawaii to find out Obamas birth certificate? They supposedly found "interesting" things as well.

1028 days ago
34.

Eric in Indiana    

Only legal if they report it to the State and Federal Dept. of Revenue on the gains/losses

1028 days ago
35.

Cynmac    

@R - I was just coming here to post about the taxes. That's how they got Al Capone, for the tax evasion. Cuz you know criminal boy wasn't paying them either. Hope those guys are ready for some audits. You know the IRS has the canceled checks. Bone heads, writing checks.

1028 days ago
36.

tellmeaboutit     

Someone make Joe Francis go away - he's a pig. Even money can't fix that.

1028 days ago
37.

StanSki    

Dead man wlakin'

1027 days ago
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