Cash Poker A Game Of Chance According To Sweden’s Supreme CourtApril 7, 2011 8:02 am
Swedish lawmakers have been endlessly debating whether poker was a game of skill or luck since six men were arrested for organising a tournament at Grebbestad back in 2007.
In May 2008, two of the organisers were deemed to have acted in contravention of Sweden’s gambling laws, which see all games where the luck factor outweighs any skill involved as a crime.
The men were then sentenced to six and eight months in prison before the ruling was overturned in May 2009 by The Court of Appeal, which saw skill as a determining factor in the extended tournament format which allowed better players to utilise their abilities over a longer period of time.
Sweden’s Supreme Court has now further upheld that ruling on Wednesday and Judge Göran Lamberth explaining the decision said:
“We have found that the main tournament and its side tournaments were not random chance games, but that skill does come in to it.”
However, in a surprising twist to the story cash poker games were seen to have a larger element of luck to them because the players have the ability to leave the game whenever they choose.
“Considering this, cash games must be deemed to be games where the outcome to an essential part can be attributed to luck,” the court stated.
Consequently, the Grebbestad tournament was seen not to have breached Sweden’s gambling laws, although the men did receive fines for the side games which were played where luck was considered a more predominant factor.
Summing up their findings, the court concluded: “The cash games constitute games that primarily depend on luck as in the meaning of chapter 16, article 14 of the Criminal Code, while the main tournament and the side tournament (sit and go) do not constitute games of luck.”