Two of the men that were named in the Black Friday indictments have decided to base their defense on a somewhat interesting premise. In an attempt to have their charges dismissed, Chad Elie and John Campos will be arguing that poker is a skill game.
Both men are facing serious charges, including money laundering. Elie has nine different charges against him while Campos has slightly fewer at six. They are hoping that some of these charges can be removed once they argue that poker isn’t 100% gambling. They will argue this point in front of a federal judge. Neither man was able to evade authorities after Black Friday as both of them were arrested on April 19th earlier this year.
Campos was the Vice Chairman of SunFirst Bank in Utah. He is accused of aiding the processing of payments for both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. If you are an American that used to play online poker, chances are that you used to play on Full Tilt or PokerStars.
Elie, also based in Utah, was a businessman. His lawyer hasn’t held back in his opinion, stating that the UIGEA should not apply to online poker. In a court filing, he stated that online poker’s outcome depends on a certain amount of skill.
Campos’s argument will likely be very similar. He is in his own separate case, but he shares the goal of Elie to have all charges dismissed.
American poker players are hoping that poker will be accepted as a game as skill because it will potentially help to get it back online in the States.
Upcoming Hearings for Online Poker Legalization
Advocates continue to make a case for legal online gambling in the United States. There are some hearings that could help the cause this week. In the afternoon on November 18th, a Senate hearing will take place. The very next day, a hearing will take place in the House of Representatives at 9:00 am.
One of the most important people when it comes to legalizing online poker has to be Al D’Amato, the chairman of the Poker Players Alliance. Since he is a former Senator, he knows firsthand how the government operates. A recent hearing in the house had him as a witness.
People have been pushing hard for poker regulation the last few months. In fact, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held a hearing about online poker just last month on the 26th. That particular hearing had mostly positive results.
In the recent House hearing that D’Amato witnessed, many topics were covered including poker bots. The bill proposed by Representative Joe Barton would make using or distributing poker bots illegal. The online poker world is waiting to see whether or not Barton’s bill will be accepted and made law in the near future.
The hearing on the 18th will take place in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Since it is titled “The Future of Internet Gambling: What’s at Stake for Tribes?”, there are plenty of clues as to what will be discussed. It is highly likely that tribe representatives will attend the hearing.