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Colorado jury favours the skill rather than luck concept of poker
Following on the heels of the recent Pennsylvanian court ruling that poker is a game dominated by skill rather than chance comes a report from Colorado that a jury in that state has arrived at the same conclusion.
The Poker Players Alliance has issued a press release applauding the decision, which is another important precedent for the legalisation of poker as a game of skill more than luck.
In the release, the one million member PPA, which boasts 13 000 members in Colorado, commended the ruling in Colorado v. Kevin Raley, in which a jury found the organiser of a poker league not guilty of illegal gambling.
The lawyers for the defense presented expert testimony by Professor Robert Hannum, Professor of Statistics at the University of Denver, that poker is more a game of skill than it is of luck. This testimony was challenged by the prosecution, yet the jury still returned a not guilty verdict likely due to Professor Hannum's testimony and the overwhelming body of evidence that demonstrates that poker is in fact a game of skill.
Under Colorado law, illegal gambling "means risking any money, credit, deposit, or other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device, or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking a risk has no control, but does not include bona fide contests of skill."
Gary Reed, the Colorado State Director of the PPA commented: "The PPA is pleased with the outcome of this case. It is further confirmation that poker is indeed a game of skill, not chance.
"At the same time, the not guilty verdict cements the rights of Colorado citizens to enjoy the American pastime of poker and will allow law enforcement to use its scarce resources to investigate real unlawful activity in the state, not poker games."
"I am pleased that the jury agreed that my actions in organizing a poker league did not constitute illegal gambling," said Kevin Raley, the defendant in this case. "As a proud member of the PPA, I want to thank them for their support of my case."
"Today's ruling is the third victory for the poker community in less than a week, following verdicts in Kentucky and Pennsylvania that protect an individual's right to play poker at a time and place of their choosing," said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA. "The momentum continues in our favour, and the PPA will continue to champion such causes in other states as well as at the national level."
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