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Albany poker club closed again

22 January 2009

ALBANY, New York -- As reported by the Albany Times-Union: "A social club where underground poker games were being illegally hosted last year was shut down for a second time Wednesday, less than two weeks after city officials had given the owner a permit to reopen as a fraternal organization.

"The abrupt closure of the Azzurri social club came less than 18 hours after a man leaving a poker game there late Tuesday was beaten and robbed of several thousand dollars in a rear parking lot of the North Allen Street club. The man, who police declined to identify, was pistol-whipped by two men. He was treated at a police station and released.

"Police said they made no arrests.

"Chief James W. Tuffey said the city's Division of Buildings and Codes ordered the club shuttered after an inspection, triggered in part by Tuesday's robbery, showed the club had no membership list to support its operation as a 'fraternal organization.' People who frequented the club last year said massive poker games, open to nearly anyone, were being held regularly there.

"...The club near Central Avenue drew police attention and code enforcement officials seven months ago after an armed robbery in which four gunmen held up the packed hall and took thousands in cash and jewelry from dozens of players..."

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