Game of Skill, Chance or Both?
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Tuesday, August 28, 2018
By GFG Games
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Different areas of the country are cracking down on games for money. It seems that the courts and most of the debates are about a game of skill, vs a game of chance. No chance is starting to make it's way to the courts, but this article discusses skill vs chance.
Most states have adopted the dominant factor test, also known as the predominance test, to analyze whether a game is one of skill or chance. Under the dominant factor test, one must imagine a scale that has pure chance on one side and pure skill on the other. The analysis is relatively simple when comparing, for instance, dice games to chess, but it is the grey area in between that is difficult. For example, state jurisdictions have remained split on whether poker is a game of skill or chance. Poker has obvious elements of skill: the ability to read people and strategically bet demonstrates a certain level of skill. On the other hand, a game of poker is initiated by the shuffling and dealing of cards, which involves a randomness element that is consistent with games of chance. When operating in that grey area, therefore, it is important to be aware of how state courts have evaluated similar games in their respective jurisdictions.
Other states follow the material element test, which recognizes that a given game may be one primarily of skill, but that chance has more than a mere incidental effect on the outcome of the game. The material element test may blur the lines of legality even further. In New York State, forexample, the legislature amended the Penal Code to define gambling as “any contest, game, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon any element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.” Despite the “material degree” language of the statute, New York State courts have continued to quote and rely on the “dominating element” test established in People ex rel. Ellison v. Lavin in 1904. 
Finally, a few states adhere to the “any chance” test, which dictates that if chance influences the outcome of a game in any way, it will be deemed illegal gambling. 
All the more reasons to use the Full Disclosure and stick within compliance. 
If you are interested in reading the entire article, please view the full article below:


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Sent on 28 August 2018 via Zoho

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