Skill Gaming Laws and Regulations by State and Country

Goals

To obtain information on whether or not skill gaming is considered gaming in any state or country, as well as recent changes in the laws relating to skill gaming, risks of those laws changing, and ease of accessing skill gaming licenses by state or country.

Early Findings

Based on initial research, some jurisdictions that consider games of skill gambling have been identified.
  • Skill gaming is a game based on physical and mental skill.
  • Common games of skill include contract bridge, card games, mahjong, chess and backgammon.
  • The distinction between skill and chance in some countries has legal implications. In Germany, if money is involved as bets, for example poker, then it is considered gambling. In these cases, the games of skill is allowed in casinos only. However, if the game is for monetary prizes, then it is allowed.
  • In New York, games such as poker is ruled a game of skill and not chance, even tough money is placed on the game as bets.
  • Currently, skill games with prizes can be done in 80% of the world and as many as 38 states in the US. States such as Arizona, Connecticut, Arkansas, Florida, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, Montana, Tennessee and South Dakota requires compliance with applicable laws in order to collect a monetary prize.
  • In Indiana and Maine if playing cards is involved, real prizes cannot be awarded.
  • Malta in 2017, was issuing licenses for skill games
  • In Italy, they make a distinction between games of luck and those of skill.
  • In Switzerland, games of skill and of chance are two different areas. Games of chance are only played in casinos.

Proposed next steps:

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