Swedish Supreme Court makes bizarre poker ruling

Posted by Gerry Poltorak on Apr 09, 2011 Posted in Legal Poker News | No Comments »

In a good news/bad news scenario, the Swedish Superior Court has ruled that poker tournaments are in fact a game of skill, but they also ruled that cash games are purely chance. Now anyone with even a modest understanding of poker would argue with the premise of the ruling –not that tournaments are luck, but most poker players would agree that your long-term results in cash games are far more skill-based than in tournaments.

That said, the ruling does advance poker’s cause around the world, as the more countries and courts that recognize the skill factor in poker –no matter how badly they misinterpret the data as the Swedish Supreme Court did when it comes to cash games—the more likely poker will be accepted in mainstream society.

According to a brief summary in CardPlayer Europe:

Judge Göran Lamberth explained the long-awaited ruling to the media saying, “We have found that the main tournament and its side tournaments were not random chance games, but that skill does come in to it.”

The ruling stems from a 2007 case where two men were convicted of hosting a poker tournament, and after initially receiving a number of serious charges, saw the Swedish courts reduce the charges citing the skill factor in poker –which led to a challenge and eventually to this past week’s somewhat favorable ruling for poker in Sweden.



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