Legal Victory for Poker Players in South Carolina
September 23, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – In South Carolina, a state in the U.S. where anti-gambling laws are stricter than most, a judge has reversed the convictions of five poker players arrested three years for gambling in the city of Mount Pleasant.
Circuit Judge R. Markley Dennis Jr. wrote that he felt it likely that the poker game in question (Texas Hold 'em) would legally be more accurately considered a game of skill (legal), not a game of chance (not legal under S.C. law). "Under the dominate factor test, Texas Hold 'em is not gaming or gambling," he said.
The judge also said the the state's anti-gambling laws is not only ambiguous but also "unconstitutionally vague and overbroad." Therefore, the municipal court decision "must be reversed".
The five players were appealing a guilty conviction, in which they were found to be operating a gambling house. Further activity is likely; the state is expected to take the case to an even higher court.