Swedish High Court Says MTT Takes Skill, CG Takes Luck

Poker Legislation | estimated reading time
2011. April 07.
The Swedish High Court debated on Wednesday a case that was first discussed in 2007 and that involved deciding if Texas Hold’em games required more luck or skill.
Swedish Police raided the European Poker Challenge in 2007, interrupting the tournament that had 700 participants and arresting four men for violating the country’s gambling laws by organising the tourney. The Uddevalla District Court found them guilty in April, 2008 and sentenced a 37 years old man to eight months and another, 35 years old person to six month in prison; the other two got away with a fine.

Swedish High Court Decision on Poker

The convicts appealed the decision, saying Texas Hold’em was not gambling, which meant they had not violated any Swedish law. The superior court debate took place in May, 2008, where poker player, professional author and commentator Dan Glimne was also heard. He showed over the span of several hands of poker that, although luck is an important factor in Texas Hold’em, it takes skill to be successful in the long run.

Based on Glimne’s arguments, among others, the Western-Swedish Superior Court ruled that the April decision be altered and they suspended the convicts’ jail time. The court argued that chance is a major factor in Texas Hold’em, so it cannot be regarded a purely skill-based game, but it takes skill to win a tournament with a large number of participants. Therefore, they stated, the four men were not to be charged with the organisation of the main event, but they were guilty of organising the side events.

This time, the prosecution appealed and so the case went before the High Court. The latest debate took place on Wednesday, and a more than surprising decision was made: “We have found that the main tournament and its side tournaments were not random chance games, but that skill does come in to it,” Judge Göran Lamberth stated. Cash games are, however, in violation of Swedish law, as “in the cash game players can play when they like, bet when they like, and leave the table at any time,” as Swedish news site The Local reports. So the court found “this form to be a game of pure random chance."

Chart from a Forum
A neat presentation of the issue from one of the related forum threads

Although this decision is weird to say the least, it might as well have a positive effect on Swedish poker tournaments, as only casinos owned by the state have so far been allowed to organise them legally, and now private clubs have the same opportunity.

Please have your say on the matter in the comments section below!

Related articles

0 comments

Our partners
Unibet
  • High rakeback
  • Beginner friendly
  • High number of casino players
Go to the room
GGPoker
  • Excellent traffic
  • Soft fields
  • Highest tournament guarantees
  • Innovative games
  • Generous bonuses
Go to the room
RedStar Poker
  • Highly trusted operator with outstanding support
  • Part of the third largest poker network
  • High overall rakeback
  • HUD is available
Go to the room
Natural8
  • Excellent traffic
  • Soft fields
  • Highest tournament guarantees
  • Innovative games
  • Generous bonuses
Go to the room
partypoker
  • Great tournament selection
  • Attractive VIP promotions
  • User-friendly software
  • Reliable provider
Go to the room
PokerKing
  • American players
  • HUD available
  • High central refund
  • New software to meet all your needs
  • More advanced game types
Go to the room
JackPoker
  • Extreme high Welcome bonus package
  • Many recreational players
Go to the room
888poker
  • Many casual players
  • Great promotion for cash game players
  • Exciting game variants: SNAP and BLAST
Go to the room
BetOnline
  • Beginner friendly
  • Wide selection of games
  • US players
  • Wide range of payment options
Go to the room
bwin Poker
  • Great tournament selection
  • Attractive VIP promotions
  • User-friendly software
  • Reliable provider
Go to the room
TigerGaming
  • Soft fields
  • US players
  • Soft fields
  • Beginner friendly
Go to the room
SportsBetting
  • Crypto Deposit & Withdrawals
  • US players
  • Wide selection of games
  • Beginner friendly
Go to the room
Betsson Poker
  • HUD is available
  • Good fields
  • Part of the third largest poker network
Go to the room
Bet365 Poker
  • Premium tables
  • Many sports betting players
  • HUD available
Go to the room
Segregated Markets
  • Privat deal: Only for Rakerace.com players
  • Untouched Fish Ponds on the Segregated Markets
Go to the room
Betkings
  • Rakeback: Up to 60%
  • Generous Welcome Bonus
  • Quick payments
Go to the room
Betfair
  • Pleasant field
  • Significant traffic
  • High flat central rakeback
  • Monthly races with total prize pool of €70 000
  • HUD available
Go to the room
PokerStars
  • Wide selection of games
  • High-guaranteed prize tournaments
  • Great software
  • HUD option
Go to the room