Online Poker Under Attack in US Court DecisionPublished August 14, 2013 by OCR Editor
US Court of Appeals says skill may not be main factor in determining legality.
The burning question of online poker's legality seems even more difficult to answer, after the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a lower court ruling which found that online poker is a game of skill.
Second Court Ruling
The Second Circuit, which was hearing an appeal in the United States v. DiCristina, did not overrule the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York's landmark ruling that poker is a game in which skill is the predominant factor in determining the eventual outcome.
However, the court did confuse the legal questions surrounding online poker by determining that the Illegal Gambling Business Act does not determine an independent federal definition of gambling, but rather incorporates state law.
Does Skill Matter?
Opponents of online gambling, such as Chicago gambling law attorney Mark Lavery, immediately pounced on the decision. Lavery was quoted by Forbes as saying that the Second Circuit's decision proves that "the â€˜game of skill' argument was a lie perpetrated by online poker companies to deceive consumers."
Poker Players Alliance chief John Pappas rejected these outlandish claims, maintaining that skill is what matters most. He said that the court decision "only adds to the growing call for federal clarity on the definition of gambling," adding that the Second Circuit "Clearly did not dispute the district court's findings that poker is a game of skill."