Saanich police deal poker party a losing hand with COVID-19 fine
Inside the garage, police say they found found seven people sitting around a table playing poker. (Stephan Agostini / AFP)
VICTORIA -- Guests at a poker party in Saanich were forced to fold their cards Saturday after police issued a large fine for an oversized gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saanich police were called to a home in the Broadmead area to investigate reports of a gathering which included people who don't live at the home.
Inside the home's garage, police say they found seven people sitting around a table playing poker.
After speaking with the homeowner, Saanich officers discovered that none of the card game players lived at the home, and another three people inside also did not reside there, according to police.
All 10 guest were forced to toss their cards and leave the party.
The homeowner was issued a $2,300 fine under B.C.'s COVID-19 Related Measures Act for holding an event at a private residence with more than six guests who don't live there.
“We will continue to investigate reports related to the provincial health orders currently in place and we hope that incidents such as this create community awareness and encourage compliance," said Saanich police Const. Markus Anastasiades.
Investigators say the Broadmead homeowner had been warned about gatherings in late October.
Saanich police say this is the second COVID-19 fine they have issued since the province brought the penalties into effect.
Officers handed a homeowner a $2,300 ticket on Halloween weekend for a party with 30 guests.