In 2011, Lawrence Dicristina was convicted by a jury of his peers for running a poker game in his business located in New York. Dicristina was charging 5% for each pot to help pay for the dealer as well as refreshments that were enjoyed by players. The charge was then vacated by Jack Weinstein, a Federal Judge, who ruled that poker is a game of skill. The case was changed yet again after the ruling was overturned by government appeal. The Supreme Court will now decide if they will examine the Dicristina case which could mean significant changes for poker in the US.
Dicristina faced charges based on the Illegal Gambling Business Act and Weinstein felt that since poker was a game of skill it did not fall under this Act. After this ruling was overturned, the lawyers for Dicristina felt as though the issue was large enough to take to the Supreme Court.
When a case goes to the Highest Court it is because the court has ruled that the case is important based on the constitutional rights in the US. According to a recent report by Pokerfuse, the Dicristina case should be reviewed based on certain aspects as stated by the Defense Attorney of Record Neal Kumar Kaatyal.
Katyal reportedly stated that when the government appeal was upheld by Second Circuit Court, which was a conflict with decisions made previously in the higher court. The lower courts obviously had differing opinions of the issue due to the interpretations of certain phrasing including: ‘includes but is not limited to’.
Katyal feels as though if the case does not go under Supreme Court review that the case will only returned after going through yet another lower court process. The Supreme Court will be making the decision as to if they are going to examine the case or not by tomorrow.
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