Online Poker Game of Skill US Defense Lawyers Maintain

Published Tuesday, October 04, 2011 -

While a gambling industry conference in Las Vegas reports that operators in the USA are seeking to regulate and license online poker the Department of Justice continues to prosecute what were the three  biggest internet poker rooms operating in America.
Lawyers for the defense for a Utah banker and another businessperson who are facing charges related to illegal gambling are doing their level best to sway a judge’s opinion on whether online poker is gambling or a game of skill and experience. The argument is not new to American courts in many states where the reasoning has been questioned by many learned lawyers and prosecutors.

Documents filed in the New York federal court of Manhattan seek to have all charges dismissed with regard to the indictment of bank executive, John Campos, and co-defendant Chad Elie. The Department of Justice maintains that Chad Elie convinced Mr. Campos of the SunFirst Bank, located in St. George, Utah, to proceed with transactions for offshore online poker operations Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker. A plea of not guilty has been put forth by both of the defendants.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, of 1988 was one of the reasons for the defense’s argument citing that the Act categorized poker with bingo and other card games but not blackjack or baccarat.

The argument contends that poker is different in so much that there is no ‘rake’ taken to provide the table for the game and that internet poker operators don’t participate at all in the games. The lawyer’s statement read, "The players compete against each other on a level playing field, using an array of talents and skill to prevail over their opponents," The defense continued, "The distinction between the poker companies in this case and websites that offer casino-style games and sports betting is stark. Online operators of casino-style games like roulette and slots are playing against their own patrons. Likewise, sports betting websites are also on the opposite side of their customers' bets. Those operators make profits from their customers' losses," "The poker companies did not participate in the games, and had no risk or stake in the outcome of the games. Instead, the companies provided virtual facilities for the games, and collected, in exchange, a fee for each hand played."


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