According to PokerNews, 15 poker players from Norway were allegedly robbed at gunpoint when playing poker in Sweden on the 22nd of August.
Apparently, in what must have been a scary situation, the players had come from Norway to take their part in a private poker gathering at the Hogdal Bygdegård farm in Strömstad due to the fact that real money poker is actually illegal over in Norway. Then in the early hours of the morning four masked men forced their way in, forced all of the players to the floor and robbed them at gunpoint.
The four men are still on the run but Norwegian authorities including the police and border control are all keeping an eye out for them.
Tore Lomgård who is in charge of the investigation in Strömstad told Swedish national paper ‘Bohusläningen’:
“It is quite obvious that the criminals knew the poker game was playing for money and they planned to rob it.”
It remains to be seen whether these men will ever be caught but it does beg the question as to why these players were in Sweden in the first place. The answer lies in the fact that poker for real money is illegal in the country.
The Norwegian Poker Championship itself is no longer held in the country, with Dublin in Ireland being the preferred location for the past few years.
This leaves players with little choice but to travel to other countries if they wish to be on the right side of the law when it comes to playing the game that they love. Sweden is a popular choice due to its closeness to Norway and the fact that real money poker is completely legal if it is held privately.
This has obviously caught the attention of criminals that know that there will be many Norwegians coming over to Sweden, usually carrying large sums of money.
New Laws For Norway?
This could all change in the future if laws suggested by the countries Ministry of Culture are passed, that will allow Norwegians to play poker in home games with a cap of $81 per player and up to just 10 players per game allowed to play. Whilst this is a small cap and will not suffice for many a professional player in the country, it is certainly a move in the right direction. A direction that could put a stop to other Norwegians having to go through what these fifteen just did.
We will update you on whether these laws are passed as soon as we know ourselves but we cannot help but feel that Norway’s government has to realise that poker players will play poker one way or another, so they may as well govern it in some way.