Poker Chips SmallAuthor and IFP Ambassador James McManus was among those quoted in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle this week, suggesting that the recent decision by Judge Jack Weinstein could make the path to legal poker in the United States much clearer.

McManus, author of “Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker”, urged caution but was adamant that the case for poker as a skill game was getting more and more convincing.

“No one knows professional craps players or bingo players or lottery players,” said McManus, adding that poker players have become celebrities because of their repeated talents. “Obviously (poker) is a game of skill.”

The article, written by Michael Shapiro, quoted industry experts reflecting on the potential effects of the Weinstein comments – that poker is a game of skill. Professor I. Nelson Rose, a specialist in gambling law at Whittier Law School, called Weinstein’s opinion “significant”, while Jeff Ifrah, a Washington DC based attorney specialising in gambling, said the ruling laid the foundation for legal poker.

Professor Rose urged vigilance, adding that while individual states like Nevada and Delaware look set to legalise poker, other states could easily enforce prohibition. McManus agreed but added that Weinstein’s conclusion, combined with the Department of Justice’s ruling last December that the 1961 Wire Act excluded poker, “adds up to poker becoming legal at the federal level.”

Read the article in full on the San Francisco Chronicle website.