PPA Press Release – Washington, DC (October 2, 2009) – The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide (nearly 10,000 in South Carolina), today lauded the ruling of a South Carolina court that confirmed that poker is a game of skill, and thus should not be considered gambling under the law.
“Poker is not a crime in South Carolina or anywhere else, and we are grateful to the court for compiling the overwhelming evidence that proves this case and protects the rights of players,” said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA. “This ruling is fully consistent with the declarations of other judges and juries across the country that Texas Hold’em is clearly a game of predominant skill and adults who play should not be criminalized.”
Five individuals had been convicted of illegal gambling. The trial court found that poker is a game of skill, but left it to a higher court to decide if state gambling laws were overly vague. The higher court agreed and reversed the convictions. In addition to holding that the law was overly broad and vague (as it could be used to convict anyone playing poker in their home), the court embraced the use of the predominance test, citing the “overwhelming” evidence that skill dominates chance.
“All poker players are well aware that the game is based on making the correct, informed decisions, not just mere chance, and games of predominant skill should not be classified in the same league as slot machines or lotteries,” said John Ridgeway, South Carolina State Director of the Poker Players Alliance. “We’re very pleased that the judge considered the overwhelming evidence and came to the same conclusion. This is a well deserved legal victory for the players, the American game of poker, and for common sense under the law.”
PPA’s Litigation Support Network has been involved in a string of legal victories by providing expert witnesses, preparing arguments for trial, and filing amicus briefs with the courts. For more information on these cases and a copy of the judge’s order, please visit. www.theppa.org.
About The Poker Players Alliance
The Poker Players Alliance (www.theppa.org) is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of over 1,000,000 online and offline poker players and enthusiasts from around the United States who have joined together to speak with one voice to promote the game and to protect poker players’ rights.