Poker is not a Game of Chance Claims France

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:
Poker France

A court ruling in France has ruled that poker is not a game of chance, but rather a game of skill (le poker n'est pas un jeu de hasard).  Such a ruling could potentially be used in the fight to legalize online poker in the United States.


The French Criminal first instance Court of Toulouse (“Tribunal Correctionnel”) upheld a previous decision whereby defendants were accused of having organized private poker competitions in public venues without a licence.  Jean-Pierre Gleizes, manager of "Les Coulisses”, was the primary defendant in this case. 

The primary issue surrounding this matter questioned whether Texas Hold’Em poker fell within the prohibition of law.

Three experts were relied upon to convince the judges, using the following criteria:  

•    A professional poker player, regularly top-ranked in national and international competitions;

•    A bridge and chess player, several times national champion; and

•    A poker player and professor in mathematics.

The prosecution has already filed an appeal.

For online poker sites, the real concern as it relates to France is not so much the legality of poker but the draconian taxes being imposed.

In recent weeks, the online poker site 200 Percent Poker was forced to shut down due to the 2 percent tax and hefty licensing fees.

- Ace King,