ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FLORIDA — Police in Florida have cracked down on four old Jewish women for playing 'high-stakes' mahjong, a popular Chinese tile game, after someone at their Escondido condominium complex near Orlando reported the group for engaging in illegal gambling.
The alleged culprits — Zelda King, Lee Delnick, Bernice Diamond and Helen Greenspan — range between 87 and 95 in age and play mahjong every Thursday at the Escondido clubhouse. A few weeks ago, a resident "troublemaker," who the women wouldn't name but say lives in the complex, called the cops and reported the group for illegal gambling.
Altamonte Springs police responded to the call. The Heritage Florida Jewish News reports the cops shut down the mahjong game, citing a law that games exceeding $10 in winnings are in violation of state gambling laws. However, the old women claim they were only playing with a $4 cap.
The condo's property management later served the women letters that there would be no mahjong, bingo, or poker played in the clubhouse until further notice. The cops reportedly visited several times later that week to ensure the games weren't still being held.
The Orlando Weekly reports the cops claim they shut down the fun because a roulette table was being advertised, which would've exceeded the $10 rule. Now though, they've spoken to the women and outlined the laws at play, and thus have lifted the ban.
Clubhouse games will resume on Thursdays following Thanksgiving.