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Poker News Briefs, June 23rd, 2009

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Israeli Legal Tussle over Poker Tourneys Continues

A battle continues in Israel over legal poker tournaments in that country, pitting the Israel Poker Federation against Israeli police officials who argued, according to one prominent Israeli paper, that poker is “a forbidden game that attracts criminal elements.” At stake is a major poker tourney in Tel Aviv scheduled for this weekend, which may run without state authorization, unlike that granted to previous events. The conflict over poker is a “skill vs. chance” debate, wherein the IPF and other Israeli poker backers continue seeking to affirm the skill elements of the game.

Danish Court Declares Poker Tourneys Illegal

A similar battle over poker has erupted in Denmark, where a majority ruling issued this week by that country’s Supreme Court has decreed that private poker tournaments are more chance than skill, and thus illegal under Danish law. The Supreme Court upheld a lower-court decision against Danish Poker Federation head Frederik Hostrup-Pedersen; however, a fine levied against Pedersen for running private poker tourneys was dismissed. A new proposal by Denmark’s Conservative Party would allow private tourneys with buy-ins of 300 kroner or less to be legal, though the proposal faces a long road to becoming law.

Utah Transit Authority Bans Internet Gambling on Public Wi-Fi

Riders on Utah’s state Transit Authority may have to think twice before using the UTA’s free wi-fi service to fire up a hand or two of online poker. The UTA has announced that anyone caught gambling or viewing pornography online will be fined $300 for the first offense, $500 for the second. The Mormon-majority state is one of only two U.S. states (Hawaii is the other), where no forms of gambling have been legalized. The UTA already implements content filters, meaning that the announcement may have no real effect.

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