Last week’s decision in the case of United States v Dicristina declaring poker to be a game of skill has many onlookers rejoicing, expecting the ruling in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) federal court to suddenly herald a new and wide-open era of poker.
The IGBA and other federal gambling statutes, from the 1961 Wire Act through the 2006 UIGEA, uniformly ignore any mention of the word “poker,” leaving much to be interpreted by enforcement and judicial authorities.
The endstory was that the PPA, on behalf of Dicristina, offered better expert testimony than the prosecution’s expert, who mailed in a less rigorous proof of poker as gambling, replete with lack of first-hand knowledge and examples of opinion masquerading as factual analysis.
The verdict can always be appealed, and the government has already invested considerable resources in propagating the appearance of poker as an unsavory gambling activity; there’s no reason to expect that anit-poker-minded feds will just curl up into a ball and roll off into the sunset.
The Dicristina ruling applies only on the federal level, and the federal level might be a losing platform for arguing poker’s skill merits anyway.