May 29, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – There have been a number of recent legislative victories in a handful of American states to more fully legalize poker based on the fact that it’s a game of skill, not chance. An interesting analysis of one of the most recent victories in the state of Florida was offered recently in that state’s Miami Herald newspaper.

Writer Michael Vasquez draws a connection between the recent pro-poker court and congressional decisions and the road to fully legalizing Internet-based poker. “In states such as Florida, where poker is already legal, Internet poker players would still benefit from increased gambling options,” he writes. “If the federal government deems poker a skill game, it would be exempt from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that passed Congress in 2006.”

“Poker advocates now feel their skill message is gaining steam,” he continues. “The Florida Legislature this month approved higher-stakes poker at the state's Indian casinos and parimutuels. During the legislative session, skill was mentioned as one reason lawmakers should allow higher stakes — with the idea that more chips in players' hands allow for skill to play a larger role.”

The article also goes into interesting detail about the kinds of opposition poker advocates usually face.  

“All gambling is either unhealthy, unproductive or destructive,” says John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council, who went on to call it "hilarious" that the poker industry is making this attempt to separate itself from the larger gambling community.

Pat Fowler, executive director of the gambling council, doesn't dispute poker has skill elements, but says highly-skilled players that can make a living from poker are the exception, not the rule,” writes Vasquez. “Most poker players aren't quite that good, she said, and most ultimately lose money.”

Click here to read the full story at the Miami Herald’s website.

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