10/6/09 – The Poker Players Alliance has issued a statement applauding the latest developments in a case in which five South Carolina poker players appear to have won the skill vs. luck argument, ultimately defeating charges of unlawful gambling.
In its statement, the one million member strong pressure group said that the ruling had confirmed that poker is a game of skill, taking it out of the definition of gambling.
"Poker is not a crime in South Carolina or anywhere else, and we are grateful to the court for compiling the overwhelming evidence that proves this case and protects the rights of players," said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA. "This ruling is fully consistent with the declarations of other judges and juries across the country that Texas Hold'em is clearly a game of predominant skill and adults who play should not be criminalized."
In the South Carolina case, five individuals had been convicted of illegal gambling . The trial court found that poker is a game of skill, but left it to a higher court to decide if state gambling laws were overly vague.
The higher court agreed and reversed the convictions. In addition to holding that the law was overly broad and vague (as it could be used to convict anyone playing poker in their home), the court embraced the use of the predominance test, citing the "overwhelming" evidence that skill dominates chance.
"All poker players are well aware that the game is based on making the correct, informed decisions, not just mere chance, and games of predominant skill should not be classified in the same league as slot machines or lotteries," said John Ridgeway, South Carolina State Director of the Poker Players Alliance.
"We're very pleased that the judge considered the overwhelming evidence and came to the same conclusion. This is a well deserved legal victory for the players, the American game of poker, and for common sense under the law."
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