Poker tournament ban in Denmark

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    Poker players and politicians are considering their next move after an Eastern High Court decision earlier last month banned private poker tournaments.

    Basing its decision on a 1926 ruling which found that poker is a game of chance, not a game of skill, the High Court stated that poker tournaments are a form of gambling and are permitted only in authorised casinos.

    It also found the former president of the Danish Poker Federation, Frederik Hostrup-Pedersen, guilty of holding illegal gambling tournaments and fined him DKK 5000.

    The federation had organised tournaments from 1 January 2005 to 30 November 2006 featuring daily rounds with up to 100 players each paying as much as DKK 300 to participate.

    ‘This has shocked me deeply. There is no doubt that poker is not a game of chance,’ said Bent Almskou, current federation president.

    ‘In the long run, a good player will always beat a bad one,’ he said.

    Peter Holst, the editor-in-chief of poker magazine ‘Ace’, said the decision criminalized up to half a million Danes.

    Kasinoforeningen, the national association of casinos and one of the plaintiffs in the case, said the decision put Danish regulation of poker in line with the standard practice in other countries.

    ‘We are running a business here that the Justice Ministry has high expectations of. We cannot have others running the same game without the same high expectations,’ said Erik Jansen, association president and manager of Casino Copenhagen.

    The Poker Federation said it will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

    A spokesman for the government’s Conservative Party said he would initiate legislation that would make private tournaments legal.

    For the time being, the decision will not affect on-line poker games.

    ‘On-line poker is a huge grey zone,’ Henrik Norsk Hoffman, an attorney specialising in gambling legislation said.


    That is really bad:sarcasm:

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