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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Poker Case

NBC reports:

The US Supreme Court has declined to decide whether poker is a contest of skill or is instead a game of chance covered by a federal law directed at illegal gambling.
That case is DiCristina v. United States, and the Second Circuit's decision on the case is available here.

I blogged about the case recently here, where I discussed some of the recent scholarship that suggests that poker is a game of skill, rather than a game of chance.

I am disappointed that the Court will not review this case because I thought it raised an interesting question, but it is not particularly surprising that the Court denied certiorari. Whether poker is a game of skill or chance is still a matter of debate, and the Court may not be willing to wade into the various studies that purport to answer the question. And the Court declines to grant a vast majority of the petitions it receives, so putting any hope in a particular petition is likely to result in disappointment.

This doesn't mean that there is no chance for the law to change. DiCristina has drawn some media attention, and may prompt more people to question whether poker should really be the subject of laws that outlaw games of chance.

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