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Denmark’s Supreme Court Upholds Online Poker Seizure

10th September 2009 8:53 am GMT

While the online gaming industry holds up Denmark as an example of an EU member state on the path to effective gaming regulation, the country's Supreme Court has upheld a decision to seize an online poker player's winnings from a foreign site.

The defendant, identified only as T, was found guilty of violating Danish Penal Code 203 which prohibits organising professional gambling.

In his testimony, the defendant said that he had played poker online daily for a period of one year, in which time he had won more often than not. In less than one year the defendant was said to have earned DKK194,000 (€26,000) playing online poker, making it his primary source of income.

In response to the defendants testimony, the Supreme Court ruled that Penal Code 203, which makes it an offence to arrange professional gambling, should also be understood to prohibit the pursuit of gambling as a profession.

The Supreme Court said that while Penal Code 203 includes a provision for exceptions where gambling is permitted, such exceptions do not apply to this case as the gambling took place via a foreign poker provider and not through the Danish gaming monopoly holder, Danske Spil.

As a result, defendant T was found to have sought to carry on a business of gambling in violation of Penal Code 203, and the Supreme Court upheld a confiscation order against the defendants entire winnings. The ruling was issued on Wednesday, September 9th.

 A copy of the Supreme Court ruling is available for download here. (Danish)

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