There’s no question that poker has become one of the world’s most popular games. Now I’ll spare you all of the reasons why it is so popular but we’ll just say that it’s a great way to make money if you are good at the game. However, even with the popularity of poker right now, I never expected anyone to try and declare it a sport. After all, most people would define sports as having some sort of athletic element to them.
But some people in the Czech Republic have a different way of thinking with regards to poker and want to have it classified as a sport. The Czech Association of Poker Clubs is pushing the government to declare poker a sport and have enlisted the help of Ernst & Young to provide legal support for their movement. So far their actions have had some impact too as this is seriously something that is being considered in the country right now.
The Czech Association for Poker Clubs’ thinking is that, out of the 60,000 people who play poker in the country, only 1,000 of them normally do it in settings that would be deemed legal in the country. And the Czech laws don’t make allowances for those who choose to play in homes or online with money on the table. Casinos are the only place where poker betting is actually allowed as of now. But if poker were a sport the Czech people would be able to play and bet as they choose and the strict regulations on the game would be uplifted.
The CAPC’s argument for possibly declaring poker a sport is that it is actually a game of skill where people can win money in the long run versus other casino games where probabilities make almost everyone a loser in the end. I myself have a hard time seeing poker being recognized as a sport though since it seems much more like a game than anything. I do believe the skill involved does allow good players to win over the long haul but I think that the best that can come out of this for the Czechs is to have the current laws amended.