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Judge Rules Poker Playing is not Gainful Employment in Child Support Case

Judge Rules Poker Playing is not Gainful Employment in Child Support Case

A professional poker player from the UK has won a legal battle not to have to use his winnings to support his children as the money does not come from “gainful employment”.

Judge Rules Poker Playing is not Gainful Employment in Child Support Case

An appeal court has ruled that a professional poker player is not gainfully employed and therefore does not have to pay child support.

Three judges of the Appeal Court agreed that Tony Hakki’s poker playing was not structured enough to count as a trade, business or profession and therefore the winnings don’t fall under the regulations of child support.

The mother of the children, Devrise Blair, claims that gambling is a profession and asked that the Child Support Agency order him to pay maintenance.

In a previous hearing the judges ruled that Hakki was “gainfully employed” as a “self-employed earner”.

Hakki is a well-known poker player who has enjoyed considerable success over the years. One of the appeal judges, Lord Justice Longmore, said that Hakki “is a professional poker player in the sense that he supports himself from his winnings at poker.”

However, Longmore went on to say that he doesn’t think that Hakki had “a sufficient organization in his poker playing to make it amount to a trade (or a business) let alone a profession or a vocation.”

Both Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Pitchford agreed.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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