Pennsylvania ruled the other day that Texas Holdem is not a skill game. (thanks Tragedy!).
So what does it mean? Not a whole hell of a lot. I'll tell you why.
PA has been a cavernous pit of hemming and hawing since Texas Hold'em became popular. 5 years ago when I started up Riverchasers, we went to the state and tried to get as much info as possible.
Nothing. They knew nothing. They had no opinions, and they had no clear definitions for us. The LCB was just as vague. But they knew one thing. Rules to constrain the license holders from being able to entice people to drink by way of any medium other than the customer just walking in and spending their dollar.
The reason for the shift all of a sudden is two fold. First, there were some cases within the last three years where some local bar owners started having their own poker games on premise. Pay to play. Walk in, buy-in, play. No rake was taken, but the bars made money selling their wares. They were each busted and fought the charges successfully. All three cases were dismissed. On the local level that is. The state didn't like that.
Well, let's introduce the states law on games of chance.... Any game that holds these three occurences are considered illegal gaming. Consideration, Chance, Reward. Hold'em was never classified specifically (as every other game is in the statute), so no one could ever really say that it was a game of chance. The point was, it needed to be classified either way.
Now, introduce LEGAL Casinos with the ability to have REAL texas holdem games. Imagine the state ignoring these rulings BEFORE any casino that is spending 15mil to for a license opens it's doors, only to find out it will be competing with Jimmy's Beef and Ale. It was important for the state to recognize where they will be able to control poker parlors.
Texas Hold'em being ruled a game of chance firmly ensconces it into the "illegal" category protecting Casinos who will be paying for those pricey licenses. As one of the county DA's told me, "it doesn't actually mean they think it is" (then smiled).
This doesn't effect my business at all either. We already operate under the guise that it was illegal and follow every single guideline to stay within those limits and operate legally. Always have, always will.
Here's hoping everyone has a great weekend! Happy Easter!