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Posted on February 19, 2014 Tom Jones
It was a long battle and lines were drawn in the sand about the legality of poker and whether the game is about luck or skill. This question has been asked in courtrooms across the United States, but so far the United States Supreme Court has not commented on the matter.
On Friday, poker fans and opponents alike will be told whether the Supreme Court will hear the case under appeal in New York State. The case concerns a bicycle shop owner who was playing poker with friends in the back of his bicycle shop.
Authorities arrested the man and charged him with running an illegal gambling operation. The owner, who was convicted, appeals to the Supreme Court, arguing that poker should not be illegal because it is a game of skill.
There is a precedent on both sides of this problem in the United States. Several courts have held poker to be a game of skill, while others have held that the game has too much chance to be considered a game of skill. Each state has its own rules for playing poker at home.
In Virginia, home games are legal. The same games are illegal in Georgia. How the federal government views poker is critical for states trying to move forward and allow home games with friends.
If the Supreme Court decides to hear the case on Friday, it will be a mini-win for those who want a clearly defined law. The ruling of the Supreme Court as to whether poker is a game of skill or luck can also go a long way in shaping the future of the US poker industry.
Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey recently took the game of poker to the next level by regulating online casinos. More than 100,000 poker players have already registered with an account with online poker sites in New Jersey that support real money games.