Cleveland: Casino threatens charity poker futures

6:58 PM, May 17, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- The Horseshoe Cleveland Casino is hurting Nautica Charity Poker games.

Since 2005, Nautica Charity Texas Hold 'em Tournaments have raised almost $10 million for small charities scrambling for funds as the economy slumped and corporate donations dwindled.

The program funded by Jacobs Investments expected to take a hit when the Horseshoe Casino opened with its deluxe poker room.

The first charity poker tournament this week  for the Diabetes Partnership going head-to-head with the casino took a 50 percent cut over normal revenue.

A number of charities are concerned about expected declines in what their poker tournaments will bring in.

Almost 50 of them have endorsed a letter to Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus seeking some law changes that Nautica believes will make it more competitive.

Representatives of the Lupus Foundation, Diabetes Partnership of Greater Cleveland, Garfield Heights High Athletic Department , New Avenues to Independence and the Unity Spiritual Center all told Channel 3 News, poker festivals raised significant dollars for them and they were concerned about seeing them cut.

Nautica wants the ability to use hired, rather than volunteer, dealers, figuring that will attract serious poker players with other games and possibly longer hours.


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