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While the laws in states around the US are different involving what is legal and illegal gambling involving the game of poker, there is one area of the law that is almost the same in every state. Games of chance are considered illegal.
Poker has, for a long time, fallen under a grey area regarding the gambling laws. The Poker Players Alliance and other groups have argued for years that poker is a game of skill, not luck, and therefore should not be considered illegal.
Until recently, there had been no legal precedent set regarding poker as a game of skill or luck. Several prosecution cases, however, have fallen apart in recent weeks because judges have ruled the game to be one of skill.
Those rulings have already had a major impact around the US. People who have been pleading guilty to illegal gambling charges are now starting to challenge those charges in court. With precedent now set, it will become easier for lawyers to prove poker is a game of skill and get their clients cleared of any wrongdoing.
The Poker Players Alliance has received so many calls from people facing these gambling charges related to poker, that they have set up a network of lawyers around the country to assist in their court cases. So far, Pennsylvania and Colorado judges have made rulings in favor of poker being a game of skill.
The perception in the US that poker is illegal may be changing. Authorities are still raiding weekly poker games and using taxpayer money to do so, but if these cases keep getting thrown out of court, that practice may change.
Hundreds of people are currently facing charges around the US stemming from illegal gambling at poker games. With every judge that renders the game of poker one of skill, that number will gradually decrease until it no longer exists at all.