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March 18, 2014

Protecting the public from the Tarpon Springs GC men's league

Found this interesting article by Will Gray on the Golf Channel's website.

The article is about a course in Florida:

If Tampa-area golfers want to play for a couple bucks, they're probably well-served to steer clear of Tarpon Springs Golf Course for the time being.

That's because the course is currently under investigation by Tarpon Springs police for the gambling that occurs among the various golf leagues it hosts.

According to a Tampa Bay Times report, regulars at Tarpon Springs were told on Feb. 8 that they needed to either eliminate their side action - usually on the scale of $20 per person - or take their play to another course.

"On the Richter scale of crime, this has to be in the minus," said Bob Dekle, a law professor at the University of Florida. "I don't see a prosecutor being wildly enthusiastic about prosecuting the case unless there are thousands and thousands of dollars being bet."

According to the report, the investigation started after Tarpon Springs police received a letter from a former golf course employee. The possible crimes relate back to two state statutes: keeping a gambling house, and game promotion in connection with the sale of consumer products or services.

After two weeks with no league play, the course was able to resume hosting leagues on Feb. 21, under the stipulations that no course employees or volunteers could participate in league operation, and that prize pools had to be pre-determined and not tied to the number of participants. The investigation of the course, however, remains ongoing.

The entire situation was perhaps summed up best by Ray Hamil, a 78-year-old league participant.

"Every golf course in this country does it," Hamil noted. "Why they singled out this golf course I'll never know." (Article End).

This certainly won't go down as one of the crimes of the century. The true crime is that the police spent even one minute of their time bothering to harass citizens whose only crime is a friendly wager on a golf course.

Must be no real crime there, just like in Myrtle Beach.

Reminds me of a few years ago when police in this area raided home poker games and bars/restaurants that were running football squares at $5 or $10 each and confiscated the money. Thank God we were protected from those dangerous criminals. Myrtle Beach is much safer now, right?




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