Danish court deems poker legal

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A year after poker was determined to be illegal gambling in Denmark, a municipal court judge in Lyngby has ruled that because the game has elements of skill it isn't illegal, according to the Copenhagen Post.

The ruling goes against the Justice Ministry decision by the legal affairs committee, and also acquits Frederik Hostrup, Danish Poker Association president, of charges of arranging illegal gambling events.

According to the Copenhagen Post, under Danish criminal law, games or competitions where the organizer attempts to achieve a commercial economic gain are considered illegal gambling.

Horesta, a hotel and restaurant trade organization, had sued Hostrup on behalf of the nation's casinos because of the poker games his association organizes.

Henrik Hoffman, Hostrup's attorney, told Politiken newspaper that the ruling lends legitimacy to poker in Denmark, where its popularity has been on the rise in recent years.

He also remarked on how poker isn't just about betting money, it involves betting wisely, playing smart and not revealing to the other players what you have and how you play.

"You can win in poker based on being clever enough to hide your strategy, even though you might have a fairly poor hand," he said in Politiken.

Prosecutors will have 14 days to decide if they will appeal the ruling.

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