By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
A raffle of Thanksgiving turkeys could pluck away a Toledo yacht club’s liquor license.
State liquor-control agents raided the Riverview Yacht Club, 5981 Edgewater Dr., Saturday to shut down what they considered an illegal “feather party.”
More than 200 club members attended the party, which featured raffles and unlicensed bingo games.
“It’s no more than gambling,” said Earl Mack, assistant in charge of enforcement for the Division of Liquor Control. Club officials call it a misunderstanding. “I feel we did something we didn’t understand, and we’re in violation, and we’re sorry it happened,” said Alan Antoine, the club’s commodore.
Feather parties are not inherently illegal. But mixing gambling with the sale of liquor can be, which is why the club is facing three liquor control violations.
The club holds a feather party once a year, Mr. Antoine said.
The state liquor control board will rule within 90 days whether the club should be fined or have its license suspended or revoked.
In addition, holding a bingo game without a license is a felony in Ohio, Mr. Mack said.
His office will assemble information on a possible bingo charge against the club and present it to Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates later this week, he said.
Among the items seized in the raid was a roulette wheel. But Mr. Antoine said it was only going to be used to decide who won the night’s big turkey. “It’s just an entertaining party where you raffle off turkeys and hams and things just in time for Thanksgiving,” he said.