Kelly Pool Illegal and Banned in Some States in Early 1900s

Kelly pool is a billiard game that has a long history of association with gambling. In the early 1900s when it was most popular it was actually banned, prohibited, and outlawed in certain places. This is evidenced in the newspaper clippings shown below, all of which mention kelly pool.

Visit the pool rules section to learn more about how to play kelly pool. Also see the 1913 article Kelly Pool in the Days of Real Sport which appeared in the June 29, 1913 edition of the Chicago Tribune.

Kelly Pool Illegal and Banned in Some States in Early 1900s

Kelly Pool Illegal and Banned in Some States in Early 1900s

1911 Kelly Pool Arrests in Lincoln Nebraska

The following article was found in the Lincoln NE. State Journal Dec. 29, 1911 edition. It talks about gaming raids on 3 pool halls for “gambling in connection with kelly pool“.

Kelly Pool Illegal Gambling Raid - Lincoln NE State Journal 1911-12-29


Twenty Arrests for Bootlegging and Gambling.

WALTHILL Neb., Dec. 28, 1911 – A roundup of bootleggers and gamblers was made last night and today under
the supervision of Commissioner of law and Order H. L. Keefe and a number of federal and private detectives. About twenty arrests were made and some liquor confiscated.

The places raided included one drug store, four pool halls and some private places. The charge against three pool halls was gambling in connection with kelly pool. It is alleged that pool was played for as high as $25 and $50 a cue. About $1,000 in fines were assessed and further prosecution dropped with the understanding that all gaming and selling of liquor should cease.

1914 Ban of Kelly Pool in Alton Illinois

An article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Nov. 18, 1914 edition explains how Alton, Il. police “immediately put a lid on [gambling], even prohibiting “Kelly pool” being played in the billiard parlors“.

Kelly Pool Prohibited in Billiard Parlors in Alton Illinois Nov. 18, 1914 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Article

Investigation of Gambling Ordered by Alton Mayor

Warrant Issued for Charles Conley Following Exposure of Game by Post-Dispatch.

Following an exposure in yesterdays Post-Dispatch of open gambling
conditions in Alton, IL, Mayor J. C. Faulstich ordered Chief of Police Lynn to investigate conditions and have issued a warrant against Charles Conley, the alleged proprietor of a gaming house over 102 West Second street, where a Post-Dispatch reporter found a roulette wheel and a craps game running. Lynn had the warrant issued today, and said that it would be served immediately upon Conley.

Mayor Faulstich said that he was shocked when he read the account of
gambling in his town. He said that he thought after the recent investigation carried on under the leadership of the Rev. C. W. Reese of the Unitarian Church, that all the gambling houses had been cleaned out. He said that no one had “ever gotten permission” from him to run such places, and that he did not favor gambling.

After the Post-Dispatch reached Alton yesterday, and the police read of the
open gambling, they immediately put the “lid” on, even prohibiting “Kelly pool” being played tn the billiard parlors.

During the past nine months the Woman’s Vigilant Improvement Association,
under the leadership of the Rev. C. W. Reese, pastor of the Unitarian Church,
has waged a ceaseless campaign against the gambling element in the City.

1944 Raid for Pea Pool and Kelly Pool in Beckley, WV

An article in the Beckley-Post-Herald June 12, 1944 about a state police raid on a city police event, where six arrests were made; “one for operating a pea game, two for operating Chuckla-luck, one for operating Kelly pool […]“.

Beckley City Police Show Raided by State Police for Pea Pool and Kelly Pool Games June 12, 1944 Beckley Post Herald Article

State Police Make Gaming Raid on City Police Show

The “Jones Greater Shows” which was sponsored by the Beckley city police during the past week at Sprague was raided Saturday night at 10 o’clock by members of the local state police detachment and six persons were arrested for operating gambling concessions.

According to State police, one was arrested for operating a “Pea” game two for operating “Chuckla-luck”, one for operating “Kelly” pool, and two for operating other gambling devices.

6 Arrested

The men arrested who were connected with the Jones show are Herbert Hardesty, Herman S. List, Robert Gee, James Dunavant, Robert Zontini, and Pete Ephraim.

According to records at the Raleigh county jail, they were all released at 3 o’clock yesterday morning when they forfeited cash bonds.

The show is under supervision of the Fraternal Order of Police and proceeds from it will be given to the general fund.

  • Title: Kelly Pool Illegal and Banned in Some States in Early 1900s
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 3/10/2019 10:17:53 AM
  • Last Updated: 3/10/2019 12:17:34 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

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