Barely Noticed by Cops, Non-Tribal Poker Rooms Thrive in Phoenix

It's Friday night at 10 p.m., and about a dozen people sit at two green-felt-topped tables at the Camelback Card Club when John Schnaubelt walks in. He's a large guy in his mid-40s and would have been noticeable even if he hadn't stared at the players and said, "Hello, ladies and gents!" in a suspiciously loud, looking-for-trouble kind of voice.

The card room, similar to many in the Valley that offer low- and high-stakes poker games, inhabits a small suite in a strip mall at 32nd Street and Shea Boulevard, next to a popular Thai restaurant. Besides the card tables (complete with surveillance cameras hanging over them) and an ATM in one corner, little about the club resembles a casino. The place looks like an office, with plenty of snacks and a refrigerator full of non-alcoholic beverages. A whiteboard informs newcomers that it will cost $40 to buy into a game, plus a $20 "dealer-appreciation" fee, while a bronze plaque on the wall asks players to tip a minimum of $2 per jackpot to the dealers.

Seeing Schnaubelt arrive, a man wearing a black shirt with the name of the club on it moves quickly from behind a counter at the far end of the suite, where players exchange cash for poker chips.

Despite the felony conviction of an eccentric Valley poker-parlor owner, non-tribal card clubs still proliferate here.
Despite the felony conviction of an eccentric Valley poker-parlor owner, non-tribal card clubs still proliferate here.
The Tilted Jack, a facility run by Schnaubelt where a "cooperative" of members played poker, closed last month.
Courtesy John Schnaubelt
The Tilted Jack, a facility run by Schnaubelt where a "cooperative" of members played poker, closed last month.

Jeff Archuleta, a manager and one of the organizers of the Camelback Card Room, is shorter and many pounds lighter than Schnaubelt, but he shows no intimidation as he walks up. According to his write-up on, Archuleta has an "extensive poker background" and recently returned from dealing the 2012 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

"You probably know you're not welcome here," he tells Schnaubelt.

Schnaubelt asks why.

"Is this a joke? You know the answer," Archuleta says. "I know you've been trashing the club every which way possible."

The players and dealers at the card tables take a momentary break from their games, listening to the exchange.

"Could you please take that outside?" an exasperated woman finally says.

And they do, sparring verbally on the sidewalk next to the parking lot in the cool night air. Their posture suggests that fisticuffs aren't imminent; the scene has the aura of an after-school showdown between former friends.

"I'll be back here with the police, probably," Schnaubelt tells the club manager.

"Yeah, I know, like you're really trying to shut everybody down. I heard about your wanting to do citizen's arrests," Archuleta sneers, barely glancing at a New Times reporter standing a few feet away. "You did the same thing everyone else is doing, and now you're going to say your shit don't stink?"

He's referring to the fact that, until two months ago, Schnaubelt was running his own poker club — The Tilted Jack at Union Hills and 19th Avenue. Archuleta says Schnaubelt is taking revenge against the Camelback club because he thinks "maybe we're stealing [his] business, or something."

Schnaubelt tells Archuleta that, late last year, another club — the Nuts Card Room in North Phoenix — got raided. And at the time, he taunts, he told an investigator with the state Attorney General's Office to check out Camelback because its owners have "deep pockets."

"Why?" asks Archuleta, sounding genuinely surprised. "You were running a club, too!"

"You're operating illegally."

"We're not operating illegally — no more illegally than any other club in town or [any club] that you would run," Archuleta says. "You're a fucking asshole, and you're a prick."

When asked by Schnaubelt how he makes money at the storefront club, which under Arizona law isn't supposed earn any "benefit" from poker games, Archuleta responds that he earns a salary and gets tips.

"How can you make a salary and [have that] not be considered a benefit?"

"I've [got] a private business owner — I run it as a private business entity," Archuleta replies, repeating that the business isn't illegal.

Schnaubelt tells Archuleta to "crawl back inside," but Archuleta responds that he'd rather stay outside and "kick off the dirt from my stoop rather than just sit out here and let it collect."

Schnaubelt says, "Maybe I'll just call 911 and report the felony going on here." Then, he gives Archuleta grief about the uniform he's wearing: "Do they make you wear that?"

Archuleta snaps back, "No, I wear it because I like to."

Schnaubelt walks toward the parking lot.

"Don't come back!" Archuleta yells after him.

Ironically, given his threats to call the cops on the Camelback Card Club, John Schnaubelt's actually a strong advocate of off-reservation poker.

Schnaubelt operated his own poker parlor, and Archuleta was one of the room's dealers.

Schnaubelt's a fellow activist and friend of Harold "Bud" Lee, a former Phoenix justice of the peace once known as "the rock 'n' roll judge." A few years ago, Lee was Arizona's most outspoken off-reservation poker activist.

Lee aspired to own a franchise of poker-room locations ("Poker Wars," April 16, 2009). Because of his grand ambitions and loud criticism of state gambling laws, the ex-JP was targeted for prosecution and convicted by a Maricopa County jury this year on three felony counts.

Under gaming compacts with the state signed in 2002, only Native American communities are allowed to run gambling operations that include regulated poker games. State authorities say, in general, all poker establishments outside Indian casinos operate illegally.

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=== UPDATE ===

=== PHOENIX NOV 2013 ===

Politicizing poker starts with getting the facts. The first fact is that the Governor unilaterally "zoned" poker exclusively to BIA reservations in 2002 so that non-Indians cannot obtain a "regulated exclusion" for any poker games where a third party benefits. Is it a good deal for the citizens of Arizona and the State to have the international sport of poker monopolized by a little over a dozen BIA casinos operating poker rooms in our State? I think not. But that's my opinion. The facts on this matter are shrouded. I called the ADoG and asked them for the aggregate poker revenue generated last year by the BIA tribes. They told me, quite seriously, that this is proprietary information, even in the aggregate. They told me, quite honestly, that they respect tribal sovereignty and will not release that information to the public, and not to anyone in fact, including the governor, who signed the exclusivity agreement over poker. How crazy is that? We can't get the facts that would help politicize the monopolistic claims over poker that the BIA has over non-Indians!

That's part of the problem with having a quasi-state, pseudo-police authority not being supported by taxpayers and serving at the pleasure solely of the governor of Arizona. Undeterred, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act to the National Indian Gaming Commission asking for the aggregate poker revenue generated by Arizona's tribes for an arbitrary fiscal calendar year (2011). This request was denied by the FOIA officer who stated that no such records are retained. I appealed this initial decision, stating that the NIGC must have such records, because their fees are based on the reported revenue (by gaming type) generated by each tribe, which is submitted quarterly. The appeals officer told me that the initial decision was not in error... get this... because prior to this year tribes reported on "calendar years", not "fiscal years". Egads. Seriously? But, in the NIGC's defense, the appeals officer did say that in trying to meet with the spirit of my request, he requisitioned the information for the year in question from the NIGC's accounting department. The answer: The 8 gaming tribes that reported poker revenue in 2011 totaled about $30 million aggregate gross. 

Two things struck me here. First, that only 8 of the 17 (at the time*) tribes with poker rooms even reported revenue to the NIGC. This is probably because 9 of the tribes have opted to "self-regulate" their Class II poker operations without assistance from the NIGC. This is something that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows gaming tribes to do for Class II games. Begs to question just how accurate and true any revenue reporting  (if any) to the Arizona Department of Gaming is made by these nine tribes, doesn't it? Who is policing the police? It's not the tax payers, that's for sure.

The second thing that I found fascinating is that historically, the tribes have "tithed" around 4% of  their revenue to the euphemistically named "Arizona Benefits Fund". You may hear that this amount is closer to 5% over the span of the past decade, but Arizona doesn't really "benefit" by the amount of money that goes towards 100% of ADoG's operating budget or the money spent on problem gambling programs. The ABF money earmarked for these areas should really be considered part of the BIA's operational budget because without BIA casinos neither the ADoG or the problem gambling programs would exist. Back on point: using the NIGC FOIA data,  $1.2 million was what the State saw from BIA poker rooms operating in 2011. By comparison, our neighbor California saw 88 licensed off-rez cardrooms in 2012 generate $880 million gross revenue. Revenue that is taxed locally and by the State (for GENERAL fund use no less!) at 8-15%. Using 10% as the median, that's $88 million for the government cut. A far cry above what the BIA generates for Arizona with their exclusive monopoly over poker.

The solution still remains legislative, judicial or executive. All three branches of government can make the change necessary to free poker in Arizona from the BIA crime cabal. And it is a crime cabal, make no mistake folks. Gambling is illegal, a felony, in our State. The IGRA law created a compacting process that required States to negotiate with the BIA tribes that wanted a casino. Arizona did, because not doing so would allow the BIA tribes to get their compact approved by the Interior Department regardless of State laws and with no State input/cut negotiation. Three years later, in Florida v. Seminole, the forced negotiation was ruled unconstitutional. Too late? No, it was not. Arizona governor Fife Symington famously claimed he would not negotiate any more compacts and in 2003 he would not renew those that were already executed. This threat is what prompted the BIA tribal gaming syndication known as the Arizona Indian Gaming Association to lobby hard, spend millions, and put prop 200 and prop 202 on the 2002 ballot. Prop 202 passed, by a mere 20 thousand votes. This was "the people" speaking, and saying "let's keep Indian Gaming" and "let's allow the tribes to cut the State in for 2 to 8% of their Net Class III win" and "while we're at it, let's grant the tribes exclusivity over regulated gambling so that non-Indians can't have it, not even for Class II poker, although Class II Bingo is already regulated off-rez so the pale skins can keep that.

The unconstitutional law that created the initial compacts abrogated state law that says gambling is a felony. The governor unilaterally changed that, going against the law of the land. Whoever sat down and said "I know how we can get around State laws against gambling for the BIA tribes" committed conspiracy, just in talking about it. The actual act is nothing short of racketeering and a manifestation of that conspiracy and felony gambling to boot. Prop 202 is a conspiracy, and the legislative body knew it, but wrote the law anyway. The conspiracy was created by the BIA gambling syndicate, that was in the habit of approving gambling compacts prior to any federal regulatory framework that came with the IGRA in 1987. 

The better solution, is to cut off the head of the monster that the BIA has always been. To learn more, please visit, and click on the links page for days worth of information and empirical data that supports these claims.

*Twin Arrows casino added an 18th poker room when they opened their northern Arizona casino in 2013. They probably have signed the Poker Memorandum of Understanding, and are on the path to self-regulate their poker room, but the revamped ADoG website no longer makes this information readily available. Hmmm. More covering up against an increasingly aware and wary public?


Let's free native American's from BIA enslavement. It's been nearly 200 years for the process of assimilation that was to take a generation or two, and the longer we wait to abolish this aberration of the longest standing US government bureaucracy, the more deeply entrenched we become in continuing the insanity. Nobody sees the native Americans. They are a forgotten race, nobody cares, they are still considered livestock by the federal government, who recently admitted to bilking their trust for $5 Billion in two settlements with dozens more pending. Dismantle the BIA and hand over the trust responsibilities to an Indian consortium. Stop feeding the casinos that further the ethnic cleansing agenda of the BIA internment program known as Indian Reservations. Doesn't matter if Indians want to be freed from the federal teat or not, they are not free people, and cannot be until given fee simple title to their lands, and they are allowed to take over the vast BIA trust.


Good, leave them indians alone man!


Actually who cares,We should have open gambling here in ARIZONA  all the time and make it legal.The indian tribes are raping us right and left.A drink at a casino costs more than a drink in a fairly nice BAR.Hell in the 50 and 60"s all the big hotels in SCOTTSDALE were ser up to have gambling,but the MORMON church put the end of that over the yrs.


Im sure cops have better things to do, like deal with some real crime?


If I were Archuletta, I would sue for slander for saying "You're illegal" in front of a New Times reporter, and libel for seeing it in print. What better way to prove your operation is not illegal and on the up and up? Of course, if I were Schnaubelt, I probably wouldn't even need legal council to defend against such a claim.

Poker clubs have a few options at their disposal: Hire a lobbyist to change the laws, petition legislators and political leaders, seek a declaratory judgment in court, or go off-the-radar. I used to grind these clubs, mainly Chip 'N Chair and The Nuts, but stopped going after I was detained and released in The Nuts raid for two hours. That was CRAZY! AK-47s in my face and zip tied. I will not go through that again, EVER!

I still support activists like Lee and Schnaubelt, but don't see anything changing any time soon. More likely, these off-rez poker clubs will be shut down one by one or in a major sweep. It's unfortunate, as I totally understand Schnaubelt and Lee's arguments against the BIA and tribal exclusivity. I just don't know if they have the voice to get it done. We'll see what happens with Lee's appeal on his First Amendment claim. Good luck.


Well, I must give Ray Stern’s article on the Arizona Poker War higher marks than the puff piece worked up by Mr. Rubin. However, once again you declined to take any notice of the real issues underlying my true motives. The fact is that I personally hand carried a Notice to local and state municipal enforcement authorities PRIOR TO OPENING any facility in the State. 

No other card room in the state can make that claim. In Tombstone I even addressed and received the backing of the City Council at a formal meeting. In May of 2005 I made sure that Attorney General Terry Goddard, along with the Cochise County Attorney received written notice of our plans to open a card room for the ACL membership. It was hand carried and delivered in person. 

As I informed Ray in our conversation with John a few weeks back; it is all over my website: I am fighting for that Petition. Oddly, you didn't even notice one had been lodged.  

Also, it is incorrect that the Department of Gaming shut me down. These coward never even suggested to me or my lawyer that I was unlawful at anytime when I was still conducting business. I notice that you also failed to notice that this agency is paid exclusively from the fruit of the BIA gambling cabal. Their bogus complaint of a lack of resources is odd? Again, not note taken that the DoG police receive no tax money. Which they boast about on their website. 

The don't mention the fact that the DoG controls the kickback fund comprise of the BIA cartels booty from the immoral rigged slots they operate. Czar Brnovich and the DoG control a ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR annul slush fund euphemistically called the Arizona Benefit fund. This fund is not paid in lieu of taxes. It is simply a paltry single digit kickback for Arizona leadership allowing their banished crime cartel to victimize the state with impunity.

It is absurd to here Czar Brnovich talk as if they are poorly funded by the State and are understaffed. The DoG agents control the entire Arizona Benefit Fund, which as far as decent people are concerned is merely laundering the illicit fruit of an amoral crime cartel

To quote Mr. Stern’s research: “Since 2004, the department's website (the DoG) shows, the state has received more than $800 million as its percentage of the take — which runs from between 1 percent and 8 percent of all casinos' gross earnings.” Your article failed to note that the BIA gambling cartel does the books and no one from Arizona can audit those books. Nor, does the DoG have enforcement authority over their paymasters. 

I am certain that I informed Ray that I never personally operated a poker room. I organized poker players association with the hope that it would evolve into a PGA type organization. I certainly did not face down a long prison term to defend poker. 

I also strongly resent the implication that I was forced to close by the DoG or the Court. I was never approached by the DoG until long after I had ceased to operate. I had been out of business a year before the indictment. My indictment only came months after loss of revenue and low membership forced my associates to close our last facility. True the bogus badges from the BIA gambling cartel police intimidated members into disassociating from our clubs forced the closure.

As to my earnings the DoG introduced all of the money I ever received and it was less than two thousand dollars a year. I never collect any of the up front fees that were originally sought. In fact, I lost money every year I operate my players association. Some of my associates, Poker Nation for one, never paid a penny to me or the ICGPA. I actually fronted her money to operate, and even that was never repaid.\

I also notice you did not mention the courts gracious comments toward me at my sentencing. The Judge was a good deal more than just “lenient”. However, how would the press corps know, they were not in attendance. You act as if I am a weirdo simply because I have never heard or seen a case where a judge is facing felony conspiracy and racketeering charges and the media doesn't find it newsworthy. Sure, I a nutcase.

Thanks for mentioning my websites. The has been up for several years.

Here is what I do know; the issue I am fighting to guard is the right to file a 1st Amendment petition to demand a redress of grievances, and not be indicted for doing so. That is the main issue on appeal. The right of the State to interfere with the free will of professional poker players is a sub issue as far as I am concerned.

As to the BIA crime cabal and the racist reservation system taxpayers are blindly funding I would ask folks to answer this riddle:

How can a crime cartel exist anywhere in the geographical boundaries of the state, unless public officers disobeyed their oath given to the people to uphold and enforce all the laws of the State; including the anti gambling statutes? Then how can the BIA bureaucrats, who have stipulated to pilfering billions of dollars from the taxpayer ward they are charged to protect, be allowed to open a felony business enterprise? Can they also open a drug cartel within State tribal lands?

The answers can be found at 

Judge Harold Lee Convict at Large


Good article Mr. Stern. Presented fairly and without bias, complete with expletives. I enjoyed the read.

"By destroying off-res poker, Schnaubelt believes, he can save poker" is a bit of a stretch though. By opening conversations with Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria (Tempe and Litchfield Park are on the list of next cities) to introduce them to their constitutional rights to franchise, regardless of a civil agreement the Arizona Executive signed ceding "jackpot poker" to the tribes", I hope to provide a way for currently illegal cardrooms to legitimize operation.Short of operating as a cooperative, where every member can freely be an equal owner with equal vote, open books and complete transparency, I would never step foot in another operation outside of Indian Country. If we can be expected to play poker responsibly and socially as adults in our homes, then it stands to reason that we can play poker responsibly and socially as adults in any facility we jointly and collectively own and control.

My goal, all along, has been to create a place where we, the people, the citizens of Arizona, (read: ME) can play poker without having to travel to an untaxed other nation-state where the rake the pots with impunity. I want a room I know is safe, that I have some say in how it’s run and what it does. Until that happens, or until The Tilted Jack Social Poker Club Cooperative opens another facility (undoubtedly with the blessing and/or knowledge of the local municipality), I'm sticking with gin rummy, bridge, canasta and euchre as my card game of choice.

The article talks about Lee's appeal, but not what is being appealed, specifically, his first amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, which he did in 2005 and many times since.

• Brnovich says the ADoG is hurting for money? That's hard to believe when he administers a $100MM a year slush fund.

• If you call the National Indian Gaming Commission office office in Phoenix, they will tell you that they, and not the ADoG, are responsible for oversight and enforcement of tribal poker rooms, which they still consider Class II gaming. The bigger story here is what, and how much, of the activity in tribal poker rooms is actually monitored, and just how much money the State is getting from the poker activity. I'm willing to bet it's less than $10M a year for all casinos in the State. And that's just bad fiscal responsibility... granting a virtual monopoly on the sport by effectively "zoning" it to tribal casinos, where the State has no audit power, and I would contend, no way of telling us just how much money comes into the Arizona benefits fund from poker. Is the Class III Net Win coming from ALL poker activities, or is it just from Jackpot Poker tables, or is it just from the amount of money collected from the Jackpot (Class III) rake? Because keep in mind, for 20 years, 1982 (Fort McDowell opened) till 2002, tribes and the NIGC contend that poker in Arizona was a Class II game, and it still is today. Class II games, like Bingo, pull tabs, and poker, are not subject to state laws and may not therefore be contributing at all to the state in any way. Who really knows? Mr. Brnovich wouldn't tell me, even if he could.

• 17 different MoUs were signed by the governor of our state. What the article does not mention is that in 2002, just ten years ago, the tribal poker rooms were in the same boat as all the off-res cardrooms are today, and using the same arguments cardroom operators are using today to defend their constitutional rights to freedom and liberty. The problem most current cardrooms have is they infringe on the jackpot poker with promotional awards, which constitute Class III gaming on reservations and is definitely luck-based, non-calculated risk type gambling. Aces cracked? Bad beat jackpot? Your game is not only illegal, but infringing on the tribal exclusivity and the poison pill clause of their gaming compact.

• How is that the governor, after twenty years of claiming tribal poker rooms were illegal, was able to sign 17 poker MoUs without that being considered conspiracy? State leaders claiming that “Congress made them do it” doesn't hold up under scrutiny, as that element of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 was held to be an unconstitutional overstepping of Congressional bounds. See Seminole vs. State of Florida regarding State's rights. Of course, Prop 202, twenty years after we've already had tribal gaming in our state, is just more lipstick on the same pig. Could citizens rightfully pass an initiative to legalize murder, rape or illicit drugs? How did we get around State laws without committing conspiracy? Someone had to sit down with someone else after 20 years and say "OK, look, here's how we can get around the state's laws regarding Class II non-banked card games like poker for the tribal gaming interests, and here’s is how the state can make money at it too."

All in all though, the best story concerning Valley cardroom industry to come out of any paper since the standalone storefront cardroom industry started around 2006. Thanks Ray, and keep up the good work. I'll let you know if my wife changes her mind and allows me to go all 13-3884 on some of these cardrooms. Clearly if they know they are operating illegally, they are unethical, and it only stands to reason that other sorts of illegal activities are going on, from defrauding DirecTV with the NFL Sunday ticket for public viewing, to utilizing shills and staked players or shady card mechanics as dealers. 

There's no telling what type of collusion can be going on in these unregulated cardrooms, but I guarantee that they are due for an Arpaio-style media-attention grabbing raid sometime soon, because they aren't going away, they aren't becoming less popular, and one prosecution per year doesn't cut it.

If a gray market Valley poker industry can support 16 to 19 illegal cardrooms today, think about how many it could support if properly legitimized by a municipality, county, or state. Bingo, another Class II game, is played off-res and on. Why not non-promotional award non-banked card games like poker? Even Arpaio calls poker “an amusement”. Even at the state level, such traditional poker doesn’t infringe on tribal “jackpot poker” exclusivity, and if the tribes have retained their right to conduct such games as non-banked poker, then too so must we all, even if that right can only be exercised through one of Arizona’s 92 cities and towns. Why? Because the Supreme Court has already ruled that the state-tribal Class III compacts are NOT a violation of citizens rights to equal protection of the law because it is a government-to-government negotiation and relationship, not a government-to-race or –class of citizen relationship.

Lastly, people other than myself have tried to organize all the cardrooms so that we can approach the government with a pie ready to be sliced up. With cardroom operators lining their pockets with illicit proceeds in closed-management private ownership operations, that's never going to happen, and as the ADoG told me, if cardrooms were regulated, half of 'em would close down immediately because the owners have felony records and would not pass certification requirements.


@swanson01john and in the late 80s over 250 bars and restaurants were operating mini-casinos in the Valley thanks to a "social gambling loophole". Who cares? A lot of people do! (Read all the "closed" threads on the forums concerning Arizona and illegal cardrooms - search for posts by a person going by the name of WillBeDone for a laundry list of other violations besides illegal gambling.) 

Without regulatory oversight from some government or quasi-government agency, illegal cardroom operators will continue to knowingly break the law. And do you, as a poker player, as an observer, or as a fan of constitutional rights, really want to see the criminals winning that Arizona Poker War? We SHOULD have open gambling here in Arizona all the time and make it legal. Regardless of the Indians and their monopolistic claims over poker. But we don't get there by allowing illegal cardrooms to "release the pressure of prohibition". We need a civil-regulatory, not criminal-prohibitive approach. Getting there takes time, and more voices than mine. That's why The Tilted Jack Social Poker Club Cooperative exists. A grass roots civil and social movement to educate, create awareness, and enact change in public policy. One city at a time. Talking to Peoria tomorrow.


@bobbjobob To me, that's the problem. Allowing an unregulated, unlicensed cash intensive industry to carry on in the hands of criminals serves no purpose except the criminals. Yes, poker and cardrooms are a relatively victimless crime, so law enforcement claims they have a lack of resources and just turn the other way. But this isn't good for the Tribes and their supposed exclusivity over the sport, it's not good for the cities, towns, and counties that could be tapping into this valuable resource, it's not good for the players that patronize illegal or gray market cardrooms because they could be walking into an establishment that for all looks and purposes is as wholesome and genuine as can be on the surface, but that sheen could be hiding the seamy underbelly of organized crime and all sorts of other criminal elements that are attracted to any cash-based business, and it certainly isn't good for the sport of poker to allow unchecked games in commercial establishments to continue to illegally benefit private ownership interests.

People have tsk tsk'd me and said "don't you have something better to do?" All this passion and knowledge you have could go towards a much more worthy cause than poker. Others have wagged their finger at me for calling out illegal cardrooms, as if any citizen should be vilified for blowing the whistle or calling attention to crime in our neighborhoods. Really?

Now, how hard is it, or how expensive would it be, for a city to simply issue a cease and desist to the cardrooms operating in it's jurisdiction? Or how hard is it to make one visit to any room and see a tip, or a fee, being collected and taken off the table. Authorities make it sound like shutting rooms down is akin to moving a mountain. Silly. In fact, they turn their heads so far away from the problem that one must logically question if some good old fashioned kickbacks aren't going on.

Butthe poker issue is just a small part of a much larger problem and a gross injustice that has indeed been the goiter around Uncle Sam's neck for centuries.

John Schnaubelt



First, I have never owned a poker club outside of Cochise County, where I had the full support of local authority. In fact, my lawyer and I were in negotiations at the State Senate when we were attacked by the DoG enforcer at an ICGPA sanctions club in Tucson in 2008, in a successful effort to bust the ICGPA players union. 

The DoG's extortion tactics began in full force years after local authority had begun to license our facilities. So called undercover DoG police raids began in earnest shortly after we had been assured by the Arizona Attorney General's office through the media that we would not be prosecuted. The DoG attack was executed with the full knowledge that I had personally filed a 1st Amendment petition for a redress of grievance to allow us to open poker clubs for our adult membership. 

The only clubs I ever opened and operated were in Cochise County. The Sierra Vista club is still open and operating with the full knowledge of municipal enforcement authority, I even have written thank you note from the City Parks and Recreation Department thank me for organizing the sport in their Community. The facility continues to operate today. 

Mort to the point; with providing hundreds of professional games daily throughout the state. It was this massive uncontrolled environment that caused the ACL player association to petition the State to stop misapplying the gambling statutes to the international sport of poker. The sport of poker must be allowed to self- police its players the same as all other strategic competitions.  

Respectfully Judge Harold Lee 

Convict at Large (with portfolio 

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