The debate as to whether poker is a game of skill or a game of chance continues to heat up as Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson recently stated in an interview that poker was not a game of skill and was the equivalent of gambling.
The 83 year old billionaire has been the biggest opponent of legalizing the online poker industry in the United States and is personally funding the ‘Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling’ campaign. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada are the only three states in the U.S. to have legalized online poker so far. Online poker lobbyists have accused Adelson of trying to shutdown the online poker industry in the U.S because he is concerned that it would eat into the profits of his Las Vegas Sands empire.
Adelson has denied these allegations stating that he is against the industry as the technology governing the online poker industry is not robust enough to meet regulations and protect underage gamblers from going online and accessing these online poker websites.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, Adelson said “They say poker is a game of skill. I don’t know how skill can apply to somebody shuffling a deck of cards and randomly giving them out to you. You don’t have any control over it. Can somebody bluff and can somebody place bets better than somebody else? Yes. But that doesn’t make poker a game of skill.”
His remarks also drew an outburst from online poker players in the U.S with the likes of Brian Rast taking to Twitter to vent their frustration. Rast called out Adelson and challenged him to a game of heads up poker with each putting down $2 million. Adelson who is a multi-billionaire will most likely never hear of the challenge and even if he did, there is a slim possibility that the Las Vegas mogul will give it any thought.
Some of the top online poker players in the world are very serious in considering poker as a game of skill as they spend thousands of hours studying the game and then practicing their skills in small time poker tournaments before moving on to the big scene. Opponents to the case of poker being a game of skill, state that once a deck is shuffled, it takes skill out of the way as there is not telling what cards a player gets dealt.