The Swiss Court recently ruled that Texas Hold ‘Em is illegal outside of licensed casinos, on the grounds that success in THE is due more to luck than skill. It thus falls within the purview of laws that prohibit private gambling enterprises. Story here.
I’m wondering whether appealing to the luck/skill differential is the best way to determine whether an activity counts as ‘gambling.’ Betting on sports games is a paradigmatic instance of gambling, but I doubt whether success in sports-betting is due more to luck than ‘skill.’ You may of course get lucky once or twice betting on sports, but you’re extremely unlikely to do well over the long haul if you don’t bring to the table significant knowledge of the sport.
It seems to me that all the clear-cut instances of ‘gambling’ involve the following: a person risks money on the occurrence of a future outcome with a probability less than 1. This covers all the clear-cut examples of gambling (sports-betting, horses, roulette, craps, Keno, lotteries) but excludes games like THE. (Note that in THE you’re not betting that the outcome of the hand will be that your cards are better than another player’s cards–you might strongly suspect that they are not and bet nonetheless.)