The game of poker hasn’t had a whole lot of legal victories over the past few years. The most crushing blow has been the UIGEA which put some severe restrictions on poker in the United States while causing many poker rooms to pull their services from the US. In addition to the UIGEA, there have also been countless smaller court battles which have sided with the government instead of with poker.
But poker players can finally rejoice now that a case has went the way of the game in Pennsylvania. That’s because the judge in the case ruled that poker is a game of skill and can’t be classified as gambling under law since it involves the element of skill. This is a very interesting ruling considering that the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has been making this same argument since the dawn of time yet they have gotten nowhere with it.
What I’m really wondering is if this ruling will set a precedent where other courts start to make the same determinant about poker since it obviously does involve skill. After all, how do you explain many of the same players consistently cashing in major events if there isn’t skill involved with poker? It seems that the judge in this instance asked the same question and answered it with the ruling.
One issue that still has to be answered with regards to poker’s legality is the subject of taxation. As it stands, poker is a difficult game to keep track of when it comes to taxes since so many rooms are located offshore. A lot of people who make money with poker can slip under the radar because they’re earning the cash through an avenue which doesn’t send out W-2 forms. Hopefully, this issue can be solved though so poker can gain some more momentum towards becoming legal.