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California Free-Play Poker Site Questions US Gambling Law

Cafrino offers real prizes for free-to-enter poker games.

American mobile gambling - GamingZion

American online poker site Cafrino does not require players to bet money or pay a subscription fee for poker games, but allows them to win certain prizes.

The enterprise of Sean Stavropoulos and Jonathan Aiwazian is a subject to debate about California gambling laws, as the Attorney General wants the site to close down, saying that “Playing for something of value is illegal.”

According to Aiwazian, the site is operating legally. The businessman argued: “The reason we are legal is we are not a gambling site. Money generated from advertising revenue is what is paid to players, who do not have to make any payments.”

A New York-based lawyer specialized in gambling, Adam Solomon, also agrees with Aiwazian’s opinion, describing the site as “a lawfully structured sweepstakes.”

Cafrino raised approximately $300,000 capital Kayweb Angels in New York. The site, operated and marketed from Southern California, went live on September 10, with advertising from media company LiveRail.

Aiwazian revealed: “It’s done a lot better than we anticipated. We are on pace to reach over a half-million hands dealt in the first month of operation.”

American mobile gambling legal expert Professor Nelson Rose warned about California State gambling law’s wording that made Attorney General issue a wrong opinion stating that gambling rules have to be applied when no money is spent to play poker for a prize.

Rose opined: “The attorney general is simply wrong when saying that something you can enter for free is gambling. If anyone and everyone can enter for free, then it is not gambling.”

Rosa states that most American gambling laws name three key elements for gambling: a prize, chance and consideration.

Rose added: “I don’t think the state Legislature intended to overturn 2,000 years of legal history when it said poker, if played for money or other prizes, is gambling without having to pay anything to enter and without any chance of losing money.”

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