Switzerland court rules poker game of LUCK

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 02, 2010 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Alright, before you get to upset over the ruling I think some specifics are in order. First the suit was brought by Switzerland Casinos who are now facing competition from unlicensed/unregulated tournaments held around the country. Secondly, small home poker games will still be legal in Switzerland.

So, while the wording –calling poker a game of luck—is a bit off the mark, the spirit of the law seems to be the protection of licensed casinos inside Switzerland, and to disallow bars, restaurants, hotels, and clubs from hosting their own poker tournaments. Had the Supreme Court ruled that poker was a game of skill this would have allowed tournaments and games to take place anywhere –basically eliminating the need for poker-rooms in casinos.

The decision seems to come down to money: According to the AP, Swiss casinos pay 50% of their profits in taxes, while the tournaments and poker games that were being organized outside of licensed casinos were exempt from this taxation.

It’s uncertain what the long-term implications of the ruling will be, and the wording makes current laws easily changeable should a more conservative government decide to take action against small home poker games.

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