17 Jan 2020 Jonas Lemberg

Bill Classifying Poker, Fantasy Sports as Skill Games Introduced in Nebraska

nebraska poker bill

A legislation defining various games like poker, fantasy games and sports betting as games of skills has been introduced by state Sen. Justin Wayne (D-Omaha) in Nebraska, United States of America, as reported by Cards Chat.

Currently, Nebraska doesn’t allow gambling in most forms. If the bill is passed, it will allow operators in the state to offer poker, fantasy sports and sports betting after paying a registration fee of $10,000.

Virginia was the first state in the U.S.A. to regulate fantasy sports with the signing of the Fantasy Contests Act that allows operation of online fantasy contest websites upon payment of a registration fee of $50,000.

In Nebraska, Wayne introduced a package of bills, including a bill that will make casinos and sports betting legal in Nebraska and another bill widening the definition of lottery to include sports betting.

A legislation in the package revolves around games of skills. It defines how sports betting and fantasy sports require a player to have knowledge of sports and the ability to analyse various attributes to make accurate gaming decisions.

Talking about poker, the bill says, “Certain poker games also require knowledge and skill. While poker does have a random component in the cards that are dealt to participants, there is more skill than chance necessary for successful participation in a game where strategic decisions influence the other participants and, ultimately, the outcome of the game.”

As per Wayne, the bill will help discourage Nebraskan players to travel to Iowa to play at casinos or place sports bets. As per a report in the The Grand Island Independent, 80% of sports bets placed in Iowa originate from players in Nebraska.

This Bill, if passed, would also have persuasive value in Indian courts, where the issue of considering games like poker as skill games is being litigated for many years, including a pending matter before the division bench of the Gujarat High Court, which would see accelerated hearings from 17th February 2020.

Previously, in some states in India, like Nagaland and Karnataka, poker has been considered a game of skill.

As the gaming industry evolves in India, other states also, from time to time, face the question of considering poker, fantasy sports and sports betting as games of skills.

Various Indian states still have a long way to go in recognising and allowing operations of various games of skills as a source of revenue.

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