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DUTCH COURT FINDS FOR SKILL IN POKER CASE

Surprise ruling could have interesting implications
 
Despite an existing Dutch High Court ruling that poker is a game of chance, a Dutch court this week delivered a contrary judgement, finding that the game is one predominantly of skill and not chance, thus taking it outside the definition of gambling.
 
The ruling could have implications for the tightly controlled Dutch gambling market, dominated by a state monopoly which has enjoyed success in court actions defending its sovereignty recently (see previous InfoPowa reports). The state immediately notified its intention to appeal the decision.
 
The case involved a criminal prosecution against professional poker player Stefan van Zadelhoff, who was accused of organising illegal Texas Hold-em tournaments, but acquitted following expert evidence that poker was a game predominantly of skill and therefore fell outside the 'games of chance' element in the definition of gambling.
 
In effect, the ruling could free up the holding of poker tournaments within existing laws.
 
In the Netherlands, competitive gambling companies both on and offline have been refused licensing, protecting the monopoly held by the Holland Casino. The exclusion of competition, particularly internet cross-border competition, has generated litigation by companies from other EU nations, so far without real success.
 
It has been estimated that as many as 500 000 Dutch residents gamble online despite the licensing restrictions, generating some Euro 450 million in revenues, and much of this action is placed with allegedly 'illegal' online poker websites, most of them outside the Netherlands.
 
In 2008 the Dutch Senate voted down proposals that would have granted the state-run operator a three-year exclusive license to operate internet gaming in the Netherlands, and in June this year the European Courts of Justice confirmed the government's sovereignty in excluding online operators licensed in other EU nations.
 
The industry is currently awaiting the publication of a study of internet gambling commissioned by the government.
 
In a similar skill vs. chance case in Denmark, the Supreme Court overruled on appeal a decision by a lower court that poker was a game of skill, justifying its finding by claiming that the lower court's ruling, if allowed to stand, would effectively deregulate poker, which was not in the public interest.

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Gambling News :

Tain Fast Bet - Our readers will recall Tain recently increased the number of live events it covers each month to 23,000, covering both traditional markets such as football, tennis and US sports and the more obscure curling, biathlon and Water Polo.

Olympic Entertainment Group Mobile Gaming - In its full-year 2016 report, Olympic Entertainment Group (OEG) has informed the establishment of a Malta-based company registered to facilitate its intended expansion into remote gambling.

Circus Evolution HD Slot - Malta-based content provider World Match has released its first title of 2017, “Circus Evolution HD”, a 5-reel, 3-row, circus-themed adventure offering Free Spins, Wilds and a Bonus Game.

Kindred Group Gets EU Recommendation on Consumer Protection - Kindred Group (formerly Unibet) has become the first operator to successfully meet the requirements of the EU Recommendation on Consumer Protection and Responsible Gambling following an external audit.

17 Crown people still detained - Reports from China over the weekend suggest that the 17 Crown people still detained could be looking at another twelve months of imprisonment as investigations into their alleged and still unspecified crimes drag on

SB1400 Virginia Poker Skill Game Bill - Her bill SB1400 is currently with the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee, whose 15 members will decide whether to progress it or condemn the Senator to another year of failure.

Pennsylvania Video Gaming Association - With the focus on Pennsylvania as the most likely next US state to legalize online gambling as part of a general gambling expansion measure, reporters noted this week the emergence of a new lobbying group in the state - the Pennsylvania Video Gaming Association.

Stiffer Problem Gambling Penalties in UK - The Guardian newspaper reports that the UK Gambling Commission plans to unveil new enforcement strategies on problem gambling and money laundering prevention this month, laying down tougher penalties for operators who fail to tackle these issues.

Malaysian police Destroy over 5000 Gambling Computers - Malaysian police in Kajang have destroyed 5,042 computer sets seized in online gambling raids over the past two years, explaining that the action is designed to take the machines out of circulation.

Spartan Poker vs SpartanPoker name War - Pokerguru, which owns the brand SpartanPoker.com, has threatened to sue the Indian Poker Championship over its use of the title Spartan Poker, and recently published a notification that it is not associated with the IPC version of the brand.

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