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Dutch Court Says Poker Is Chance, Not Skill

Judges Totally Misunderstands The Nature Of Poker


“Poker is considered a game of chance in the core,” a Dutch court ruled late last week.

The Amsterdam’s appeals court said that it is illegal for individuals to host poker games because they amount to gambling, according to a report from The ruling stems from a nearly decade-old case involving two men who fell into hot water for hosting super low-stakes Texas hold’em poker tournaments, which drew around 70 players, at a bar over a two-year period.

In both 2010 and 2014, lower courts sided with the poker players that the game is skill and thus would be exempt from the law that would require them to have a gambling license.

The defense argued that “poker is a complicated multi-player game in which chance plays a role.” However, the defense said, “the player who is the most agile has a significant influence on the course of the game,” and thus poker is “a winning game of skill that can be played.”

Additionally, the Netherlands recognizes professional poker players for tax purposes.

“Poker can be considered a sport which has expanded enormously since the 1990s,” the defense also said. However, the arguments didn’t convince the appeals court.

The reason? The judges think that because you can’t control which cards you are dealt then poker is luck. That’s an archaic view of the game. “How skillful a player is; on the cards assigned to him he has no influence,” the mind-boggling ruling said.

Casino games may only be offered by the state-owned Holland Casino.