U.S. Federal Judge: Poker Is A Game Of Skill

This story was published more than 11 years ago.

A U.S. Federal Court Judge ruled on Tuesday that poker is in fact a game of skill, helping proponents of the game who claim the game is not strictly a game of chance.

Judge Jack Weinstein made the ruling after considering evidence in a case against Lawrence Cristina, who was convicted of operating an illegal gaming business under the Illegal Gambling Business Act.

Weinstein found that poker is "predominated by skill" before he set aside the conviction against Cristina.

Internet poker advocacy group the Poker Players Alliance hailed the decision as a victory for the card game. PPA Executive Director John Pappas issued a statement saying: "This case is not only a victory for poker advocates but also for the PPA, which helped orchestrate the defense of both Dicristina and the game of poker. In addition to presenting the oral arguments in the case, PPA attorneys provided the arguments and briefs and extensive expert testimony.”

“As we worked for years defending players against vague gambling laws, we have patiently waited for the right opportunity to raise the issue in federal court.

"Judge Weinstein’s thoughtful decision recognizes what we have consistently argued for years: poker is not a crime, it is a game of skill. As the judge’s opinion aptly notes, poker is an American pastime that is deeply embedded in the history and fabric of our nation and his decision sets aside the notion that the vague laws render the game criminal.”