Poker a Game of Skill- No Kidding?


– Steven D. Levitt, “Freakonomics” author and famedUniversity of Chicago economist, is upset about the recent events regarding online poker. Thetitle of his latest piece, “The ‘Daughter Test’ of Government Prohibitions (And Why I’m soAngry about the U.S. Internet Poker Crackdown),” and a recent working paper he published getto the nub of the problem faced by the poker community today.As poker players’ basic freedoms are being infringed upon, not to mention their right to play acherished game of skill, now is the time for Congress to listen and take action to protectAmericans’ liberties and livelihoods.“We have all known that poker is a game of skill and that playing online poker is clearly legal.Yet today our game and all of us as players are being unfairly targeted by our governmentmaking it nearly impossible for thousands of bread-winners to support their families and denyingmillions more this recreational pastime,” said John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance. “Thank you Steven Levitt for your excellent research into predominance of skill in poker. This fact, in addition to the vast consumer protections and potential for billions of dollars in tax revenue offered through licensing and regulation, should give lawmakers thecomfort they need to establish a safe, regulated U.S. online poker market.”Poker is no doubt a game of skill, as Levitt’s latest study released this week clearly demonstrates.His conclusion is blunt, and obvious: there is “strong evidence in support of the idea that poker isa game of skill.” Courts rely “heavily” on whether or not poker is a game of skill in determininglegal outcomes, and, Levitt writes, there is “evidence for a substantial role of skill in poker.”While the science now bears out this fact, the law lags behind – to the detriment of online poker and the millions of Americans who enjoy the game.The PPA urges every member of Congress and everyone else to learn the facts provided inLevitt’s new working paper: “The Role of Skill Versus Luck in Poker: Evidence From TheWorld Series of Poker.” Levitt has graciously provided a free link for all of our supporters to his paper:
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