While there's an effort underway to repeal
the federal government's ban on online gambling, a recent legal ruling could help out a bit as well. A judge in South Carolina found that poker should be considered a game of skill
, rather than a game of chance. Of course, in dealing with the state law at issue in that case, the result didn't matter -- as the law didn't distinguish between skill and chance. However, the rather murky set of federal laws that have been used to fight online gambling may not cover "games of skill." The problem is... well... no one's quite sure what it really covers. Basically, there's no real anti-gambling law. There are certain laws, like the Wire Act, that have been used against online gambling -- and the more recent law (oddly included as part of a harbor protection bill
) was more focused on stopping financial institutions from accepting money used for gambling. But, with the judge's ruling, some are pointing out that this means online poker shouldn't be considered gambling -- and the other federal laws shouldn't apply (state laws are a different matter, however).