A German court has ruled that poker is a game of skill, rather than purely luck — a decision which could come to have a significant impact upon the online gaming industry. The ruling comes after German professional poker player Eduard Scharf objected to paying tax on his his poker winnings, claiming that they were not a taxable form of income as poker is a game of chance.
How much skill is involved in playing poker is a question which is widely debated. The German courts ruled that the winnings of those who played poker as a hobby would remain tax-free, while those who played professionally, like Scharf, would have their poker income treated as if they were running their own business. Tech developments have meant that games like poker have become far more accessible to the public, with many of those who might not consider visiting a casino now playing online via sites such as partypoker de. More a more tech developers working to develop advanced poker software to cater for the growing interest in this particular game.
Despite the fact that professional players may find themselves pay more tax than they might have expected to, the ruling in Germany could actually increase popularity in this particular game. With the law agreeing that poker is a game which
requires skill, this type of gaming could find greater acceptance within Germany and around the world. With the 2012 Startup Awards opening in Germany in January, more and more tech entrepreneurs may look at gearing their businesses towards the thriving digital poker industry. Although Scharf will have the opportunity to appeal against the judges decision to tax his poker income, the current ruling is certainly good news for those who have for some time believed
that poker is a game which requires a great deal of skills to play, both in live tournaments and online.