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Poker an Official Sports in China

Whether or not poker should be considered as sports is a question dealt with by many experts over the years. Some people believe that poker is a game of chance and thus needs to be categorized as any other gambling game. Others think that skill is a strong element of poker and therefore the game should be categorized with tennis, baseball, pinball and other sports games. The Chinese authorities, apparently, do not feel that poker’s position is controversial. In an unpredicted decision, China Leisure Sports Administrative Center announced that Traktor Poker will be considered sports by the country. The announcement comes as China National Traktor Poker Tour names its first Provincial Champions.

The question whether poker is a spots or not is not important for the actual game – it’s important for the people who play it and the people who offer the availability of the game. If poker is recognized as sports, as a game of skill, then there is no legal problem offering it over the internet at online casino sites or at land-based houses. However, if poker is label as other gambling games, you have a legal problem on your hands. Just think about it. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act says that online gambling is forbidden in the United States, but if poker wasn’t labeled as gambling – you could offer poker to American citizens.

China has its own issues with online gambling and it’s unclear what would be the implications of the announcement. All in all it’s a positive step in the way of the full recognition of poker as a sporting game. Such recognition would make it easier to offer poker in many new ways using new platforms. The fact that a skilled player has an advantage over a novice player at the online casino makes poker different from other games such as roulette or slots.

OCA News Editor

Christian Bright is a professional sports commentator with keen interests in football, tennis and horse racing. His experience in the reporting on professional sports makes him a key asset to OCA’s coverage of athletic events and matches.