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South Carolina AG Appeals Ruling That Poker Is A Game Of Skill

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Circuit Court Judge Markley Dennis overturned the conviction of five poker players this Fall, and the ruling has set off a firestorm in the South Carolina government. Attorney general Henry McMaster appealed the earlier ruling to the state Supreme Court this week.

Dennis ruled that poker was a game of skill, and therefore playing the game was not an offense worthy of conviction. McMaster believes that the circuit court judge ruled incorrectly, and that the goal of the state statute was to make all gaming illegal.

"Our obvious reason that 'chance' need not be determined with respect to a particular game for purpose of the gambling statute is that the legislature sought to ban all 'gaming' for stakes at designated locations," said the appeal filing, as reported by The Charleston Post and Courier.

Judge Dennis did not stop at simply ruling poker as a game of skill. he also went on in his ruling to question the gambling laws in South Carolina. At one point, Dennis called the laws, "unconstitutionally vague and over-broad."

There have been several rulings on the game of poker around the US. Different judges have ruled from different viewpoints on the game. There have been several who have ruled the game one of chance, and others, like Dennis, who believe the evidence points to the game being one of skill.

The issue is one that online gambling advocates are keeping a close eye on. Online poker is not regulated in the US, but lawmakers in California are discussing the possibility of regulating the activity.

With each judge that rules in favor of poker being a game of skill, there comes more ammunition in the fight for regulated Internet gambling in the country.

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