Gutshot poker club owner to appeal guilty verdict

A London club owner convicted of organizing illegal Texas Hold'em games will appeal a jury's Tuesday ruling. Derek Kelly plans to continue his legal fight to prove that poker is a game of skill, not luck.

A jury found Kelly guilty of contravening England's gaming laws earlier this week at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The charges stem two unlicensed poker games held at Kelly's Gutshot club from which the business profited through player entry fees and a table rake.

On Thursday, Kelly posted this statement on Gutshot's Web site forum:

"After serious consideration and professional advice, instructions were given to my legal team this morning to commence procedures to appeal the judgement against me at Snaresbrook Crown Court last Tuesday," he writes.

Ongoing details of the appeal will also be published on the site subject to further legal advice, he says.

Kelly will continue to contest England's 1968 Gambling Act, which allows only businesses with licenses to profit or offer prizes for games of chance.

However, the outdated act is set to be revised in September with changes that would allow gambling on equal-chance games without regulation from the country's Gambling Commission or local authority.

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