New York Judge Rules Poker A Game Of Skill

The state of New York is moving closer to full-scale, Vegas-style casinos, and on Tuesday a federal judge ruled that the game of poker is one of skill, not luck. That ruling will only enhance the chances that lawmakers get behind new casino laws.

Judge Jack Weinstein overturned a previous conviction of a man who was running organized card games in a poker club in New York. The man was offering Texas Hold’em games, which prosecutors believed were illegal because they involved a game of chance.

Weinstein dismissed the premise that poker is a game of luck, adding fuel to the online poker proponents’ argument that the game should be regulated and legal online.

“Because the poker played on the defendant’s premises is not predominantly a game of chance, it is not gambling,” wrote Judge Weinstein in his ruling.

The prosecution took the ruling as a blow in their efforts to combat organized crime in New York. it has become popular for organized crime organizations to operate high stakes poker games in underground locations.

Judge Weinstein, however, wrote in his ruling that this was not a deterrent towards the organized crime crackdown. Instead he asserted that any organized poker games run by Mafia members could be prosecuted under different US laws, mainly of the racketeering variety.

Online poker regulation advocates found the ruling to be another step in their effort to have online poker players protected by the US government. Dozens of federal lawmakers are calling for Internet gaming regulations, and several states have already eliminated their restrictions on Internet casinos.

South Point Poker LLC, a gaming group in Nevada, is set to make history on Thursday when they receive an online gaming license, allowing the South Point Hotel & Casino to operate an online poker room that accepts real money wagering.

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