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Danish Online Poker Player Found Guilty

The Supreme Court in Denmark has ordered a man to forfeit over $38,000 he made while playing poker professionally over the Internet because doing so is illegal under the nation's current laws.

According to a piece in The Copenhagen Post, earning a living from playing online poker is illegal even if the games are run from outside Denmark because the individual computers used are located in the country and, therefore, subject to local regulations.

The Supreme Court found the unnamed 35-year-old man guilty because he had been unemployed for over a year and playing poker over the Internet was his sole source of income. Denmark bans its citizens from earning a living from gambling and this is the second person found guilty of this charge in recent months. In June, the Eastern High Court found a long-timer organiser of poker tournaments guilty of the same charge and the Supreme Court concurred but this decision did not cover online competitions.

The newspaper reported that an estimated 50,000 Danes play online poker and revealed that lawyers for the state had underscored that this decision did not outlaw online gambling.

"We will decide on a case by case basis whether someone is playing professionally," said Crown Prosecutor Svend Larsen.

One good bit of good news for the accused was that The Supreme Court threw out a $979 fine he had been given by the Eastern High Court upon his original conviction in November. The Court stated that this was done because there was some uncertainty over whether the law covered online poker.