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Online Casino News - August, 2008

Czechoslovakia Ministry Urged to Declare Poker a Sport



  Seed Newsvine

by Edward Rogers, News Staff Writer

August 28, 2008

If you ask a poker player whether or not poker is a game of skill or luck, you're likely to hear skill over luck, and maybe even the opinion that it's a little bit of both. You're also likely to hear some players to go so far to say that professional poker is a sport. And when you stop to take a look at the WSOP, WPT and other high-stakes events getting televised coverage (ESPN coverage at that), it's hard to argue the case that poker isn't a sport.

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has long been an advocate of making poker a sport, not to mention legalizing the online version in the United States since the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Recently making a claim at the same, is the Czech Association of Poker Clubs (CAPC), which has been working hard at lobbying government officials to declare the game of poker as a sport.

As reported by the Prague Post this week, the CAPC has engaged the internationally reputed professional services organization, Ernst and Young, to advise a campaign to make poker legal. And the way things stand now, there's a plausible chance it could happen.

Officials in the Czechoslovakia Finance Ministry are allegedly ready and willing to introduce new legislation aimed at streamlining gambling regulations. With a presentation timeframe set for late 2008, the CAPC is doing everything they can to have a hand in the drafting process. An uphill battle to say the least, current law does allow poker playing outside of brick 'n mortar casinos, but without real stakes.

And any serious poker player will tell you it's all about the stakes. Sure, people play poker for fun. But the Ministry could not possibly delude itself thinking that real money poker games don't take place outside of casinos. Like in the U.S. where players continue to gamble on the internet at online casinos, real money games are going to take place whether the government says it's okay or not.

The idea is that with proper regulation, organized crime rings can be prevented. Considering the propensity for crime in an economically depressed area to begin with, regulation does look tempting. While there's no doubt that poker has become very popular in a short time period in Czechoslovakia, the only worry is that not enough Czech's yet view the game as a serious profession, rather than a lifestyle or diversion.



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