Wisconsin Judge Ruling: ‘Poker is a Game of Chance’
Circuit Judge Richard G. Nice issued his ruling in a Dane County, Wisconsin courtroom in response to a case filed by the Poker Player’s Alliance (PPA). The case itself, filed on behalf of a poker player named Mark “P0ker HO” Kroon, and legal fees in the case were paid by a group of Wisconsin-based poker players.
Under current Wisconsin law, poker is still defined as a, “game of chance,” and is lumped in with other illegal gambling such as sports betting. Judge Nice’s ruling reaffirmed that notion, but left the door open for the PPA to bump their case up to the next legal level saying:
I certainly enjoyed this case, not so much from the point of view of the legal issues, which I don’t think are all that difficult, but certainly the consideration of poker is always entertaining for me, even though it’s not always quite so entertaining at the poker table…I’ve got to say that poker is such a rich topic on so many levels. It’s as much a part of the American fabric, I think, as baseball and apple pie, but having said that, I can’t ignore the law here, and the law unfortunately, to use a poker analogy, is a stacked deck against the plaintiffs here.
Nice went on to say that the PPA should seek relief for their claim at the Circuit Court and, eventually, the Supreme Court.
It should be noted that the Wisconsin ruling was not tied to any specific specific legislation and, as of this writing, the state is not currently considering any online gambling bills.