NEW YORK – A federal judge in New York has handed a victory to poker advocates, ruling that the card game is not gambling under federal law because it is primarily a game of skill, not chance.

The decision Tuesday by Judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn is likely to be embraced by advocates of card games who are pushing to legalize Internet poker in the United States.

The ruling resulted in the dismissal of a federal criminal indictment against a man convicted last month of conspiring to operate an illegal underground poker club. The judge relied in his decision largely on findings by a defense expert who analyzed Internet poker games. Weinstein noted that the federal statute was created to combat organized crime

Lawyers did not immediately respond to phone messages for comment.

Tuesday’s ruling is a big win for poker advocates in the U.S. The following statement was issued by Executive Director John Pappas of the Poker Player’s Alliance after Weinstein’s decision was made public:

“As we worked for years defending players against vague gambling laws, we have patiently waited for the right opportunity to raise the issue in federal court. Today’s federal court ruling is a major victory for the game of poker and the millions of Americans who enjoy playing it. Judge Weinstein’s thoughtful decision recognizes what we have consistently argued for years: poker is not a crime, it is a game of skill. As the judge’s opinion aptly notes, poker is an American pastime that is deeply embedded in the history and fabric of our nation and his decision sets aside the notion that the vague laws render the game criminal.”

Source: Poker News


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