Louisiana law bans most gambling. But for years prosecutors and law enforcement have said that businesses can host card games so long as they didn't take a cut or charge admission. But that was before the state legalized casino gambling and before Texas hold 'em poker games became popular. Now, the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control says that bars that host poker games are profiting from gambling—thus breaking the law—by selling food and drinks. This new interpretation of the law is disputed by bar owners, as well as some local law enforcement officers and the chairmen of the legislative committees that oversee gambling in the state. But that hasn't stopped the state police from raiding bars and arresting owners, managers and dealers.
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