The battle to outlaw poker has been raging in the Netherlands for at least a decade, and the main issue was that the courts considered poker a game of skill and not a game of chance.
A court in Amsterdam recently ruled that regardless of the skill of the players, there is still an element of luck, therefore it is now considered a game of chance, which means anyone who wants to organise poker games needs a permit.
In 1998 the Attorney General had ruled that poker was a game of chance, giving as an example that playing several tables at once online, ‘multi-tabling’, is much more about strategy and relies a lot less on chance. This means that the lower court rulings of 2010 and 2014 that had taken the ‘game of skill’ side of things have now been overturned.
The case that went before the Amsterdam court was about Texas Hold’em poker games going on in a café in Bussum, North Holland where a permit wasn’t necessary because they didn’t need one for a game of skill. Now that the court has decided after 10 years that poker is a game of chance, both tournament organisers have been given a suspended fine of 1250 euro each and the bar owner 500 euro. The court went for suspended fines because the case took a long time to sort out.
The court found a way to choose the version of poker that profits the state monopoly of Holland Casino. I disagree that poker is a game of chance because without skill you’re just a donkey throwing your money away.