While most colleges and universities seem to be clamping down on poker at their schools, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States, Duke University, has weighed in on the issue: shuffle up and deal!
The college, located in Durham, NC, has looked at the activities of the students enrolled there, including their Friday night tournament that is conducted at the Student Union, and has to this point allowed the games to continue. "My office is okay with it," said Larry Moneta, the vice president of student affairs. "I don't see us taking a stance that will prohibit fun, entertaining activities."
This is not the case at many other universities. Charity events held at the University of Pennsylvania and Tufts University, located in Massachusetts, were cancelled due to the question of legalities of gambling in their locations. Another North Carolina institution, Wake Forest University, will be looking at revisions to their student handbook to make more restrictive measures regarding gambling on campus.
While their stance is stated in the student handbook as, "It is against the law in the state of North Carolina and Duke University policy to gamble," Moneta said that the university has not been active in the enforcement of the rules and that he is more concerned about other aspects of poker. "We know the kids gamble for potato chips and raisins. I would be more worried about someone wagering large amounts of money in online games on overseas websites than losing $10 in the dorms."
Duke University lists among their alumni former President Richard Nixon, who, as legend has it, financed his first political campaign with winnings from poker while in the Navy. Additionally, many of today's great poker players have honed their games during their college years.
It seems that academia has the right approach to the question of gambling. While American police continue to hammer on private games, the collegiate fraternity seems to recognize the right of people to live their lives and allow them to conduct their activities without fear of retribution. Is it possible that the colleges of the United States are looking at the next collegiate sport to add to their own bankrolls?