France: Poker is a not a Game of Chance

When it comes to online poker, the French really know their stuff. In one fell sweep, they managed to turn online poker into something safe for the public and income generating for the government. The ARJEL was an excellent idea, and it looks as if the French are on to something else that’s excellent as well. The French Court recently ruled that poker is a game of skill and not a game of chance; the decision had been arrived at in a case against Jean-Pierre Gleizes, who was accused of running poker events without licensing.

Gleizes’ Case

Jean-Pierre Gleizes, the manager of Les Coulisses, was accused that he held some private poker in public – an accusation which landed him in court. Fortunately for him, his defense was pretty talented, having wrestled from the court the decision that finally determined that poker is a game of skill and not a game of chance. They did this by calling in several experts as witnesses such as poker professionals. They also called in some national champions in games such as chess and bridge. Then, to top it all off, they called in a mathematics professor who also knew and played the game. Their defense was more than enough to convince the court that poker is, indeed, a game of skill, making poker exempt from the EU’s gambling laws. However, because of this, the appeal will have to be forwarded to the Supreme Court, and if it upholds the decision of the lower court, then the laws governing poker will have to be revamped and the likely outcome would be poker pros would have to pay income tax on all their winnings.

Skill or Chance – You decide

The problem with poker is that it blurs the line between what’s legal and what’s not. Some people consider it as a form of gambling and ranks it with other casino games such as blackjack and baccarat, whereas others believe that it’s a game of skill just like chess. Of course, those who play poker are no doubt in agreement with the latter. The problem is the government; they seem to need a more convincing and concrete evidence than simply seeing the same names in final tables. The US government, in particular, is in need of a proper education as to whether poker is a game of skill or chance. It makes one think that all that’s needed to fix this whole poker debacle in the country is to toss all the members of the congress into the WSOP and let them determine just how much skill is needed to win this thing.

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