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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Courts - "SCOTUS could decide legality of poker games"

That is the headline to this story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, reported by Justin Gray. (h/t/ How Appealing) A quote:

Robert Costner regularly hosts poker parties for as many as 100 people in Virginia, a state where it's legal to play for cash at home.

“Why does the federal government care?” said Costner. “It's not organized crime. It's not the mob, it’s just some guys getting together having fun.”

But the Supreme Court could soon step in. The feds busted and convicted a New York man for running a poker game in the back of his bicycle shop. He's now appealed to the nation's highest court.

The case could impact everyone who likes to play a little poker with friends.

“I would hate to have what I’m doing here, playing poker, determined to be a federal crime,” Costner said.

The bike shop owner's attorneys claim poker shouldn’t be classified as illegal gambling because it's a game of skill.

“The only way you can consistently win money is by skill,” Costner said.

But Justice Department lawyers don't buy that argument, saying in their brief to the Supreme Court, "Courts have long held that poker contains a sufficient element of chance to constitute gambling."
Whether to take the case is being considered by the SCOTUS in conference Friday, according to the story.

The ILB has a long list of posts dealing with poker, many of them on this very issue.

The question of whether blackjack may be a game of skill was mentioned in 2010 in an Indiana Supreme Court case, Donovan v. Grant Victoria Casino & Resort.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 18, 2014 09:41 AM
Posted to Courts in general