The Tar Heel 91 Season Long Poker Run which was planned to be a season long motorcycle event throughout the 919 and 910 area codes to raise funds for sick children has been canceled.
Reason: Poker Runs are illegal in North Carolina.
Event organizers had lined up about 40 official stops from Wake Forest to Wilmington and were getting ready to print a thousand poker run books for sale, with all proceeds going to charity. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of motorcyclists were expected to participate.
They were told by officials from the state of North Carolina, including the director of the NC ALE and the Office of the Attorney General that poker runs are considered gambling and are illegal.
Organizers, official stops, and participants could all have been charged with a class 2 misdemeanor by North Carolina ALE. Class 2 misdemeanors carry jail sentences longer than 30 days. Whether or not any charges would actually be prosecuted is up to the district attorneys in the jurisdiction.
The director of the ALE and an attorney from the North Carolina Office of the Attorney General advised the event organizers to contact the district attorneys and establish prior agreements to not prosecute if charged.
Organizers had been planning to have next years charity event be across the entire state. ďOur hopes of raising funds to help sick children would require deals with too many district attorneys, and at the end of the day it would still be illegal. We have no desire to attempt to circumnavigate state law by arranging prior agreements to not prosecute. That may be business as usual in the political world, but itís not how we operate. Instead, once the dust is settled about the NC lottery, we will call upon the NC legislature to remove laws which restrict good citizens who wish to use poker runs to support good causes. We regret the event is canceled.Ē
See NC Poker Runs Legal or Illegal.