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Kamloops man fined $3,000 for hosting poker game defying COVID-19 orders


Kamloops RCMP found 10 people around a poker table which is not allowed under a new provincial health order

Police say the host of the poker game was 'very uncooperative,' no one around the card table was masked or distancing

KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) — One Kamloops gambler didn’t know when to fold ’em.

A 37-year-old man has been fined more than $3,000 for refusing to quickly shut down a poker game that ran past midnight Thursday, which is when province-wide restrictions on gatherings came into effect.

A new COVID-19-related order prohibits “social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble.”

RCMP Sgt. Darren Michels says no one in the house was wearing a mask or social distancing when officers arrived around 1 a.m.

“A very uncooperative homeowner was hosting a card game around a table with about nine others who did not live in the home and the participants were not social-distanced, were not wearing masks. The homeowner was allegedly very uncooperative and was subsequently arrested for obstructing the police officers,” he says.

The man was fined for a series of infractions under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act including promoting a gathering, and failing to comply with direction of an enforcement officer, and abusive or belligerent behaviour.

“You know, our priority is to educate people first and foremost. Definitely, cooperation with our police officers. when they’re coming and putting themselves at risk to exposure to people is always appreciated. We don’t want to issue fines if we don’t have to,” Michels says.

“These are hard times and we’re hoping everybody will cooperate and whether you agree or disagree with the public health order, it’s put out there for everybody’s benefit and to keep us all healthy.”

New orders — including one mandating masks in most indoor, public places — are in effect until at least Dec. 7

With files from Colton Davies