A court in France, which was hearing the case against Jean-Pierre Gleizes, the owner of poker joints Les Coulisses and St. Tropez, has been convinced with the defense lawyer’s point that poker cannot be a game of chance, but requires a lot of skill and strategy. Accordingly, the court has ruled that poker is not a game of chance, but skill and strategy. Poker players, who had always known that poker is a skill game, and not a game of chance, were jubilant. As a result of this ruling, the defendant Jean-Pierre Gleizes became a free man.
According to a report in a local news portal, the Toulouse court heard a number of witnesses related to the poker gaming industry and came to its final decision. Although a number of French players are jubilant about the court’s ruling, the prosecution has moved the French Supreme Court, challenging the decision of the lower court. Owing to the fact that the French government has recently changed its online poker legislation, partly basing it on the notion that poker is not a skill and strategy game, but a game based on chance, French poker players do not really expect the French Supreme Court to uphold the ruling of the lower court.
The defense lawyer had argued his case that poker is a skill game in a brilliant manner. The lawyer had called a number of witnesses associated with the poker and had cross examined them brilliantly to prove his point. Some of these witnesses included professional poker players, mathematics professors, bridge players, chess players, and others. After listening to these witnesses, the French court decided that poker is not a game of chance, but that of skill and strategy. The French court’s ruling not only favored Jean-Pierre, but a number of online poker players, who have known all along that the French poker laws were all wrong.
If the Supreme Court agrees with the ruling of the lower court, poker rooms will no longer have to pay the higher taxes and obey the licensing rules that comprise the latest poker laws in France, which are built on the premise that poker is a chance game. Simultaneously, professional poker players will have to pay higher taxes because their poker winnings will be considered as their income.
Poker players worldwide, however, celebrated this tiny victory, and forums such as Two Plus Two were flooded with messages lauding the French court’s ruling.