6/5/10 – Last week’s Swiss Supreme Court finding that poker is a game predominantly of chance has triggered critical comment from the International Federation of Poker, which is a member of the 150 nation SportsAccord movement.
The finding reversed an earlier decision by an inferior court that poker was a skill game, and it means that tournaments can only take place in Swiss land casinos, an outcome that was clearly the business goal of the [operator] complainants.
"This is yet another example of misguided poker thinking by courts and judges who simply do not understand the game – i.e. that poker is a ‘mind-sport' of strategic skill far more than luck,” said Anthony Holden, President of the International Federation of Poker.
“The same has happened in various US states, at the very moment when America's repressive UIGEA comes into force. If poker-players and admirers just stand by and watch this happen, we are conceding our rights to external forces who still think poker is a remnant of the old Wild West, rather than the clean, regulated, skilful ‘mind-sport' all current poker-players know and love," he added.
The IFP site at www.ifpoker.org has relevant content on the skill vs. chance debate that includes numerous academic studies demonstrating beyond doubt that skill plays a much larger role that luck in poker.
“We at IFP will continue this battle on behalf of the poker community,” said Holden, appealing to the wider poker community. “I urge you all to rally to our support. Do not allow our skilful ‘mind-sport' to be hijacked and repressed by ignorant legislators. We must persuade governments and courts throughout the world to separate it off from mere gambling.”