SC Poker Guilty Verdict; Good For Poker
February 20, 2022
The South Carolina poker trial concluded today with a surprising mixed-message of a verdict handed down by Mount Pleasant Municipal Judge Larry Duffy.

The case, which revolved around five men who didn't believe they deserved to be fined for playing in a "house used as a place of gaming" just for playing a home game of poker, resulted in a guilty verdict for the defendants despite the Judge completely agreeing with the Defense's claim that poker is primarily a game of skill not luck. Judge Duffy, in his summation, even went so far as to admit that if brought to a higher court, it would be an "easy case" for acquittal for that reason, but that the issue would have to be settled there.

The grassroots organization, the Poker Players Alliance, aided the defense during the trial, and even went so far as to bring in poker commentator Mike Sexton of the World Poker Tour as an expert witness. After the verdict was handed down, they released a press statement which expressed "cautious optimism" with the ruling.

"The court's finding is a tentative victory for poker players and all concerned with the rights of individuals to play this game with their friends in their own home. Poker is a game of skill that is enjoyed by thousands of South Carolinians, and we applaud the judge for recognizing that important distinction. We expect a higher court to agree that under the proper standard, it is not illegal to play a game of skill." -John Ridgeway, the South Carolina State Director of the PPA.

Story by Mark Anderson
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