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Swedish Court Rules Poker is Skill Game

Court of Appeals Reduces Sentences of Two Men Convicted of Hosting Poker Tournament; Rules Poker is Game of Skill


The Court of Appeal for Western Sweden last week reduced the jail sentences of two men convicted of hosting a live poker tournament with 700 players in Grebbestad according to

The men had the charges against them reduced from “serious illegal gambling” to “illegal gambling”. The court ruled that because the game being played was Texas hold’em in a tournament format, the players own judgment was more important than the cards being dealt, effectively ruling that the game was one of skill and not luck.

Two other men who were fined 80 days pay had their fine reduced to 60 days pay.

The quoted Dan Glimne, a poker player and gambling author, who gave evidence on behalf of the defence at the trail, as saying, “…poker has been given a national holiday in Sweden. We poker players think it’s great that poker has been given equal footing with backgammon, bridge, and chess. Within a few months we’re going to see something big.”

Glimne believes the ruling paves the way for others to organize professional poker tournaments in direct competition with the state-run casino operator, Casino Cosmopol.