More courts are supporting poker as a game of skill.
In Denver, the state’s raid of a $20 Texas Hold ‘Em tournament — and subsequent defeat for prosecutors during trial — could lead to a rewrite of Colorado’s poker laws. According to the Denver Post, a group of five poker fans playing over a pot of $600 were jailed for illegal gambling. But instead of paying a $100 fine, the defendants have decided to take the case to court. In January, a Weld County jury acquitted one of the defendants who was the first to go to trial. The state has appealed.
In Pennsylvania, a judge tossed out charges against two people accused of illegal gambling after determining that “Texas Hold ‘Em poker is a game where skill predominates over chance.” The state has appealed the ruling.
In South Carolina, a judge ruled last month that poker is a game of skill, which could prevent future prosecutions of poker players. (The ruling, however, didn’t help the defendants in that case because they violated other laws by running a gambling house.)
In the meantime, South Carolina Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, is introducing pro-poker legislation to the state’s legislature in the hopes of slowly beginning to overturn the antiquated 1802 gambling law. According to the He has established two dates for hearings this week for two bills. The first bill looks to legalize home poker games that exclude rake that accrues income for the house, as well as odds or a house bank. The second bill intends to legalize charity events that involve “casino night” types of activities, including raffles, to raise money for charity events. The bills are 535 and 560, respectively, and are awaiting Congressional action.