A Federal Court Says It Doesn't Matter If Poker Is A Game Of Skill Or Not -- It's Still Illegal Online

Poker buffs have long argued that their game is one of skill, not luck.

Even a district judge agreed last year, letting a man who organised Texas Hold ‘Em games in a Staten Island warehouse off the hook.

Poker, unlike lesser games, didn’t really violate anti-gambling laws, the judge concluded.

This week the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York disagreed, reversing the decision.

From Forbes:

“The ‘game of skill’ argument to support the legality of poker was a lie perpetrated by Online Poker companies to deceive consumers into depositing money on their gambling Internet sites,” said [Gambling Law attorney Mark] Lavery to FORBES. “I think this decision renders the skill argument a dead letter for loophole gambling like online poker and the so-called emerging ‘Daily Fantasy Sports’ craze. This ruling should not have an Impact on the Internet Poker Freedom Act. That bill tries to legalise what is illegal gambling in almost all states — online poker.”

Essentially, the court ruled that the whole “luck vs. skill” argument is immaterial. Poker is still gambling under New York state law and federal statutes.

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