The Nature of Illegal Poker
Illegal poker is punishable by imprisonment in Canada. And this scenario tells us if we're being considered for illegal poker.
When we're suspected of harboring poker gamblers in the act of playing and betting in the game and we're earning from it, too, the government may presume that we are indeed, and may send a search party to investigate at the scene. So when the search party comes knocking at the door, the following scenario may follow:
The search party (probably a team of police officers) knocked on the door but was not allowed to enter by the host or keeper. This is sufficient ground for authorities to conclude that an illegal poker gambling, along with some other law violations, is indeed in progress in the house, room, venue, or private property. Thus, the best thing to do if what we have is an honest to goodness home poker is to let them in.
After entering in, they may not find an on-going poker session with betting. However, if poker paraphernalia are lying around (poker cards, chips, bets) in the place, these may be conclusive to them and be grounds for an arrest. So the best thing is to keep poker materials properly when not in use. Or, when playing poker at home, make sure only family members are around---and don't lie about guests. Everyone's sure to be called in for questioning. And make sure the bets are minimal, just right for home poker.
Now, let's say that the authorities found no session on going, no poker things on the table, but they did find things in the possession of people in the house that could be linked to poker---poker cards and chips. This, nonetheless, could be construed as illegal poker in Canada.
If the venue was found to be a place of illegal poker, and we were there but seem to have gotten off the hook because we weren't charged, don't count on it. If the authorities declare the place as "disorderly" (guilty of illegal poker), then, after the owner has been charged and it's proven that we were there, we just wait for the pending arrest.
In most cases, when the poker venue is established beyond doubt to be disorderly, an arresting officer may apprehend us even without a search warrant. The courts will keep all evidences.
Illegal poker in Canada, once proven, may be dealt with by the authorities on the spot. Penalty is two-year imprisonment.