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A negative development for poker players in the federal courts today, as the 2nd Circuit Court reversed an earlier decision in U.S. v. Lawrence DiCristina, finding that DiCristina violated federal law by operating a for-profit poker game.
The reversal comes after a hearing that many interpreted as being favorable for DiCristina.
In very simple terms:
A statement from the PPA’s John Pappas clarified the scope of the ruling: “The 2nd Circuit clearly did not dispute the district court’s finding that poker is a game of skill […] What the court did was conclude that the IGBA does not set forth an independent federal definition of gambling, but instead only incorporates state law.”
The DiCristina case is significant in the larger sense of poker’s legality and how the federal government interprets the IGBA as it relates to poker.
And there are obviously impacts for others currently facing IGBA charges related to poker, or those who fear exposure to the IGBA for poker-related activity.
But with the issue of poker as a game of skill not in play in the appeal, there are few immediate impacts for poker advocates at large.
The district court's decision in DiCristina was legally baseless. Not surprised that the Second Circuit overturned it.
— Todd Terry (@toddbterry) August 6, 2013
— Marco Valerio (@Agentmarco) August 6, 2013
Just to reiterate, the 2nd Circuit does not change lower court finding that poker is skill. Says whether it is skill/chance does not matter.
— Poker Alliance (@ppapoker) August 6, 2013
The PPA has said that they are “ready to support Mr. DiCristina should he choose to appeal this decision, and we are committed to working through the judicial and legislative processes to establish a clear definition of gambling based on the predominance test.”