Swiss council upholds Supreme Court ruling on poker
A few months back, the Supreme Court in Switzerland ruled that poker was a game of luck, thus making it illegal to play outside of a casino. This past week the ruling was upheld by the Swiss Federal Council, although they clarified the country’s stance on poker a bit more.
The law basically outlaws poker tournaments from being held outside of a casino –such as bars and restaurants—but the Council did clarify that “Non-professional games held in homes” were still legal.
While the ruling doesn’t have much impact on Online Gambling or the ability to play poker in Switzerland, the way the ruling was passed has broader, long-term, implications, and may influence future laws. The reason for the ruling was that casinos were complaining about private poker tournaments taking away from their revenue; which in turn takes away from the country’s taxes. So, the banning of poker tournaments outside of casinos seems fine.
However, by calling poker a game of luck the Swiss courts have set a precedent that could jeopardize poker’s future, especially online poker. Basically they have given opponents of gambling, and poker in particular, a powerful court ruling to cite against poker’s expansion, particularly online.
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