Israel & Poker – The Recent Development
As in other countries, Poker is currently illegal in Israel and constitutes Gambling. However, a recent development may change all this. Thanks to the recent Supreme Court decision which states to revisit the definition of Poker as deems Poker as a Game of Skill and not of a Game of Chance. Further, the Court also went on to state that the Poker Players participate in various tournament year after year and involves fair amount of hard work and training, thus classifying Poker as a Game of Skill.
Siding various successful Poker players from Israel, Sharren Haskel, a member of the Israeli parliament stated that Israeli sportsmen bring respect and pride to the state in international competitions. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that poker players are sportsmen and not gamblers, they should be permitted to practice on their home turf.
Will India follow suit?
The scenario is not much different in India. However, with the advent of many Poker leagues in India and the participation of Indian Poker Pro’s in International World Series competitions has given a major boost to Poker being considered as a Game of Skill.
From the legalistic perspective, Poker is a state subject where some states have liberal laws pertaining to Poker where as other don’t. However, Live Poker and Online Poker in India have taken rapid strides with number of operators and players, both increasing exponentially. Following are the positive developments that have been shaping the case of Poker being a mind-sport and a Game of Skill.
Successful Poker Pros – Amidst the scenario that exists, India has had a fair share of Poker Pro’s who have brought glory to the nation. Few notable names include Muskan Sethi, who is India’s first female Poker player. She was also honoured by the President of India for being one of 100 women achiever’s. Other Poker Pro’s who continue to shine include Aditya Agarwal, Kunal Patni, WSOP bracelet winner Nikita Luther and list goes on.
Tournaments & Leagues – Poker tournaments & leagues have come up in a big way created ripples even in mainstream media which includes Match IPL telecasted on MTV to the Poker Sports League (PSL) on Dsport.
Indian and International sports Operators in India – While the Indian Poker Operators like Adda52.com and Baadshah Gaming are creating waves in the India market, sensing this vibrancy, International biggies like PokerStars has also set shop in India realizing the enormous potential that India has.
Celebrity Endorsements – Celebrities from the sports and entertainment industry have also jumped onto the Poker brandwagon. For instance, Add52.com recently signed up Chris Gayle as their brand Ambassador while Indian chess Legend, Vishwanathan Anand who has vouched Poker as a mindsport has come on board with Poker Sports League as their brand ambassador.
With these positive developments, experts feel that the writings are on the wall and it is just a matter of time that Poker is recognized as a Game of Skill.