I lost count of the emails asking me where are organized poker games live. I tell them that this is prohibited and they do not understand that there are websites that advertise meetings or small tournaments in some cities.
Unfortunately poker is considered routinely as a game of chance and gambling are prohibited in France (Act No. 83-628 of 12 July 1983) unless special permission of the Prefecture for a tournament. I doubt that all of the tournaments advertised on the Internet all have a permit, proof, several sites are closed each year.
As usual, France can be proud to own in this area the greatest legal limbo that is.
In simple terms, the law prohibits the practice of gambling establishments outside sworn namely casinos. The problem is that there is no precise definition of what constitutes gambling, or, failing that, an accurate list of games involved. However, an accurate list would be a really bad solution because it would bring to controversy over many games, so that a clear definition would highlight the games concerned, and therefore those who would not!
To concentrate on the game that interests us, poker, looking for a legal definition of gambling. There are not any!
Then seek a text saying that poker is a game of chance. There are a half! How is this possible? Decree No. 59-1489 of 22 December 1959 amended by Decree No. 96-808 of September 10, 1996, Art. 1 states:
” May be allowed in casinos gambling following: … stud poker casino … . And here is a fudge more. The decree, which also was not a law specifies a particular variation of poker, the ‘stud’, and in a particular place, casinos. So conversely, outside casinos, stud poker is a game of chance. What about other poker games like Texas Hold’em?
Francis Montmirel remarked to me that the problem was solved for a judicial decision of May 28, 1930 (May 28, 1930 Case of the Criminal Division, DH 1930.397): “So are games of chance, poker, bingo games () small horses (). ”
Yes, except that the courts have no force of law, no court is obliged to follow the conclusions of this decision in 1930 during another trial. One may also wonder about the fact that no other jurisdiction has been notified of the problem since 1930, while daring to make a different decision.
In addition, consider how the poker as gambling, while professionals live this intellectual art. A daily practice and a certain intelligence are needed for this game, which has nothing to chance, but rather an intellectual game of skill.
Finally, I would not go back on the details of other legal texts governing games of chance (Section 410 of the Penal Code art.1965 of the Civil Code, the General Tax Code, case law etc. …) because we will consider that The objective of this paper is to remove the shackles of poker gambling.
For my part I consider that no current law forbids the practice poker in France, even with gains of money.
One exception: stud poker to be played in casinos.
A risk is the possibility of being brought before the court on the grounds of the jurisprudence of 1930 (which may however be challenged by any court).