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Indiana regulators investigate Indianapolis charity poker operation

October 5, 2018

State regulators are investigating an Indianapolis chapter of the Knights of Columbus for undisclosed problems and possible violations tied to its bingo and poker games.

Indiana Gaming Commission Deputy Director Jenny Reske told The Indianapolis Star that the agency is "reviewing certain things that are very concerning" with the Northside Knights of Columbus' operations.

"The goal is to determine where they are falling short and to address those problems," Reske said, noting that violations could result in a fine or a suspension of its gaming license.

The Knights of Columbus chapter, 2100 E. 71st St., has held some kind of charity gaming license since 1993. This is the first time the group's been scrutinized by regulators, Reske said. The chapter currently has gaming licenses that allow for bingo, poker and raffles.

The chapter's games grossed nearly $4.4 million in 2017, making it the second biggest charity game in the state. Most of the money is returned to players as prizes and jackpots, according to a commission report.

Northside Knights of Columbus officials said they violated technical rules, such as not displaying enough "no tipping" signs, giving gamblers free food and failing to post multiple copies of their gaming license. They said they've fixed the violations.

"Quite honestly, we had a few violations and we've taken care of them," said Dave Short, who has run the group's poker games for six years. "They weren't big other than we just didn't know the rules."

John Creamer, who runs the group's bingo games, said he believes the investigation is the result of complaints by dissatisfied players.

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