Internet Gambling Case Study: NY Judge Says Bluffing Takes Skill

Internet gambling case studyPoker is a game of skill, not chance — so said a New York judge, and the ruling could have huge implications for Internet gambling.

Judge Makes Surprising Ruling In Online Poker Case

The conviction of a New Yorker running a poker club got tossed out thanks to Federal District Court Judge Jack Weinstein who decided that poker is a game of skill and not a game of chance.

In a 120-page opinion, Weinstein wrote:

“In poker, increased proficiency boosts a player’s chance of winning and affects the outcome of individual hands as well as a series of hands.  Expert poker players draw on an array of talents, including facility with numbers, knowledge of human psychology, and powers of observation and deception.”

Teeming with charts and other stats, the opinion explained that skills, like bluffing, could help players win. Additionally, since the gamers in the case were not betting against the house (which can manipulate the odds and chances of winning), but instead against each other, it couldn’t be considered gambling.

“We have patiently waited for the right opportunity to raise the issue in federal court,” said John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, according to NBC News.

Will This Ruling Change Internet Gambling Rules?

The federal court ruling is a “winning hand” for the millions of people who enjoy Internet gambling. While federal laws concerning online gaming have not changed, this decision  may pave the way for regulation changes.

Judge Weinstein also noted that federal prosecutors could still use racketeering laws to mitigate organized crime poker rings and certain Internet gambling operations


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