Bad news for poker fans and players in Idaho, as the federal district court ruled that the Coeuer d’Alene tribe most cease their poker tournaments until a lawsuit by the state will settle the case.
Bluff reports that U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill stated,”Idaho’s constitution plainly prohibits all forms of gambling other than the three listed exceptions.” Slot machines, bingo and horse races are the only exceptions to this rule.
Poker is not considered a skill game due to there being a portion of luck involved. Because of this ruling poker gets a Class III rating on the gaming scale, while it’s a Class II in California. This ruling could however have an impact on the legislation in California, as the Sante Ysable tribe looks to offer online poker as soon as possible.
The problem with this, which was brought to light by poker journalist Martin Shapiro, is that a federal ruling in Idaho could impact California as lawmakers will give precedence to a federal judgment over going to the NIGC, the National Indian Gaming Commission.
For now it remain unclear if poker indeed falls into Class II or Class III, but eventually this distinction will have a huge impact on its potential going forward.