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Illinois Declares Fantasy Sports Game Of Skill

The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of daily fantasy sports, claiming it was not considered gambling. Just five short years ago, Nevada went through the same process, but their side voted against the matter.

This new ruling has also paved the way now for online poker for Illinois. This is groundbreaking news because other states could follow suit and make it legal very soon.

What Happened?

The court case was actually a gambling loss recovery matter. The plaintiff sought out to recover his losses from another player in a head to head daily fantasy sports contest.

The court then switched their focus on whether or not daily fantasy sports was a bona fide contest of skill rather than gambling. The court had not previously adopted a method of testing for the trial, meaning they went with the method of a predominant factor test because they felt it was most appropriate for the situation.

Skill Versus Chance

In determining if something is going to be skill or chance outcomes, the courts had to find three different scenarios to run the example by. These scenarios played out as follows:

* Predominant factor test – if the contest or event is more determined by skill than chance, then it is considered “not gambling.”

* Material element test – even if skill predominates, it is considered gambling if the outcome is dependent on a material degree on some element of chance.

*Any chance test – which is self-explanatory (think of lotteries for example)

For this particular court ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court had not yet clarified which one of those tests beforehand. This ultimately led to the predominant factor test taking a victory for the day.

What Does The Law Say?

Many states have legalized daily fantasy sports, while some still are not on board. There were arguments as to whether the recently passed Illinois Sports Wagering Act would cover daily fantasy sports.

The Act has a definition of sports wagering as “accepting wagers on sporting events or portions of sporting events, or on the individual performance statistics of athletes in a sports event or combination of sports events, by any system or method of wagering, including, but not limited to, in person or over the Internet through websites and on mobile devices.”

The Act can be found here.

How Is Online Poker Affected?

Poker is often defined as a game of chance, rather than a game of skill. Courts have had their view on the subject as if people were out playing the lottery. But come on, these poker stars have sacrificed a lot of time and effort to make incredible strategies to win big.

Have these people ever really played poker? There is a science behind it that anyone can learn. All it takes is being able to bluff, some math, and persistence.

Obviously, you need to have a little more than that, but you get the idea. No lottery winner has ever won by having skill, so poker is the exact opposite.

What To Know Now

Based on the studies presented in court and the outcome of the trial, Illinois residents and new potential daily fantasy sports operators now know that daily fantasy sports is legal in the state. This is a huge win for the market, as it opens the door for so much more.

With this victory, what is next for the state? Will other states follow their lead? Only time will tell if poker becomes the next trial to be presented and if other states will follow suit.

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