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South Australian Court Rules Poker Game of Skill

Mon, Mar 23, 3:04pm by Kevin Pitstock

In our continued effort to keep the Australian public up to date with the current legislation involving gambling for Australians we are going to step back to 2008. In August of 2008 the South Australian Magistrates Court ruled that poker was indeed a game of skill. This was in the case of the Polics vs Jones. The matter was brough about after a poker tournament run by the Australian Poker Association resulted in charges being made by the South Australian Police.

It could not be proven that the APA made any profit from the event. This together with the fact that the law was in their favour allowed the ruling to go their way. The court listened to evidence that claimed skill was a large determinent in the outcome of the game. Because of this fact the court could not rule that they were involved in unlawful gaming because poker does not rely on chance to be able to win.

If you would like to know more about the specifics of the case we recommend that you read the article Is Poker a game of Chance? by the guys over at Addison Lawyers. These guys did a super job of summarising both the law and why the decisions were made as they were.

This decision made by the South Australian Magistrates court is in sync with what has also been going on in the United States. Courts in Colorado and Pennsylvania have both recently ruled that poker is a game of skill. Players have been arrested over there for playing in home games where undercover cops would raid their games. If is wasn’t for the Government’s recent attempts to ban Australian gambling then would could have said that poker in Australia was moving in the right direction. As it stands now, we can still gamble online, but how hard it becomes to do so is still unclear.


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