May 1, 2024 2 min read

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Gambling Felony Might Ruin an Aspiring Treasurer’s Bid for Office

According to Indiana law, people who have been found guilty of a felony or have entered a guilty plea to a felony, are ineligible to run for office, even if the conviction has been reduced to a Class A misdemeanor

Past involvement in illegal gambling could spell the end of an aspiring treasurer’s bid for office. Billy Joy of Terre Haute hopes to become Vigo County’s next treasurer but might turn out to be ineligible for the position because of his past engagement in unauthorized gambling.

Local news outlets were tipped off about the aspiring treasurer’s past transgression via anonymous letters. As it turns out, Joy was investigated for illegal gambling back in 2011. The Indiana Gaming Commission’s investigation culminated with a raid on a sports bar in West Terre Haute where Joy allegedly hosted illegal poker games.

According to court records, authorities believe that the man was responsible for organizing unlicensed poker games at the bar and other venues. For reference, Indiana prohibits players from hosting private games if someone is taking a rake or profiting commercially from the game.

As a result, Joy was arrested. After pleading guilty to a count of professional gambling, which was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor, he was sentenced to a year of jail, the larger part of which was suspended. The man was also required to pay a fine of $1 and court costs of $174. Joy was placed on probation and agreed to donate $500 to a local charity.  

Joy May Be Ineligible for Office

Joy, however, told the Tribune-Star that he doesn’t think much of his past offense. According to him, he was only playing cards with a bunch of his friends.

A bunch of my buddies and me were playing cards … and they slapped us with charges.

Billy Joy

However, Joy’s past engagement in unlicensed gambling could possibly jeopardize his campaign. According to Indiana law, people who have been found guilty of a felony or have entered a guilty plea to a felony, are ineligible to run for office, even if the conviction has been reduced to a Class A misdemeanor.

Officials will now look into the matter. In his interview with the Tribune-Star Joy said that he has not consulted a legal advisor on the matter. He concluded that if the legal system tells him to take his name off, then “that’s the way it will have to be.”

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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