Nebraska Introduces Bill to Class Poker as a Game of Skill

A bill has been introduced in Nebraska that will classify poker, sportsbetting and fantasy sports as games of skill.

Poker Could Soon Be Called a Game of Skill in Nebraska

The debate over whether or not poker is a game of skill has been ongoing for years, and Nebraska may soon be making a definitive decision on the issue. Recently, state senator Justin Wayne has introduce a bill that would classify poker, sportsbetting and fantasy sports as skill games.

The new bill named LB990 would then legalize these activities. Other forms of gambling are not permitted under the state’s law, but games of skill are – so it would allow for players in the state to enjoy them without breaking any laws.

“Sports betting and fantasy sports require knowledge and skill. Knowledge of a sport and skill in analyzing and predicting the performance of athletes and the outcomes of sporting events is essential for a participant in sports betting or fantasy sports to be successful.”

– Nebraska state senator Justin Wayne

An Age-Old Debate

For years, players and lawmakers have been debating whether or not poker is a game of skill or luck. Classifying it as a game of skill would basically make it globally legal but, as a game of skill, poker would have the same restrictions placed on it as casino games and slots.

What has tipped more people onto the side of skill in this debate is the recent introduction of poker bots. Cepheus was developed in 2015 and Pluribus was created in 2019, using algorithms that have essentially “solved” poker. The bots were virtually unbeatable, even in games against some of the world’s best poker players.

So, although there is an element of skill involved in poker, it is also not entirely down to chance like slot machines and other casino games. Now that there is a poker computer program that can’t be beaten, the provides that skill is an important factor when playing poker.

Before all of this, the case could be made that novice players will never outplay experienced ones. The introduction of poker-playing bots has only strengthened the argument.

It will likely be a while before Nebraska’s lawmakers make a decision on whether or not poker will be classified as a game of skill. We’ll keep you updated as the situation progresses, as this could have very important implications on the state’s gaming laws. It may mean that poker, daily fantasy sports and sportsbetting will be legalized in the state, making for a huge change in Nebraska’s gaming market.

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