Sunday January 25 ,2015 : POKER PLAYERS TRYING FOR LEGALISATION IN WISCONSIN
Backed by the PPA, players ask judge to declare poker a game predominently of skill.
Wisconsin poker players trying to persuade a state judge to declare the game one primarily of skill in order to circumvent local anti-gambling laws have engaged the expert services of Professor Robert C. Hannum, a Professor of Risk Analysis and Gaming at the University of Denver and an expert member of the Gaming Studies Research Center, University of Nevada Las Vegas.
The player initiative, backed by the Poker Players Alliance, has filed a Plaintiffs' Expert Witness Affidavit featuring testimony from the widely experienced professor, who has given expert evidence in a number of major court cases, consulted for state and other authorities and participated in numerous reviews on the legality of poker based on skill rather than chance.
In his affidavit, Hannum notes:
"It is my considered opinion, based on my experience, on research that I have personally conducted, and on a review of the scholarly literature, that Texas hold'em is a game in which skill predominates over chance in determining the outcome. Thus, in my opinion, it would be incorrect to describe Texas hold'em as a game of chance.
"Put another way: the question of whether skill or chance predominates in Texas hold'em is the same as asking whether the deal of the cards or the decisions of the players constitute the predominant factor in determining the outcome of the game. In my opinion Texas hold'em is not a game of chance because the decisions of the players have a much larger impact on the outcome than the deal of the cards.
"In contrast with these numerous studies finding that skill predominates over chance in poker, I am aware of no study reaching the conclusion that poker is a game predominately of chance," Hannum concludes.
Commenting on the drive for legality, the executive director of the PPA, John Pappas, said in a statement:
"If this action is successful, the group believes that private poker rooms, bar games, and all other forms of live poker would be completely legal and free from prosecution.
"The language in the statute does not specifically speak to poker but does say that a bet does not include ‘bona fide contests of skill’ – which by recent federal and state rulings, scientific studies and our general knowledge, poker is clearly such a contest and therefore should not be included in Wisconsin's definition of gambling."