Luck versus Skill

Forum Archive : Luck versus Skill

Is backgammon gambling?

From:   Luc Palmans
Date:   8 October 2010
Subject:   Bad news from Belgium
Forum: Forums

Walter Meuwis had to cancel the Hasselt Open because of a conflict with the
gaming commission from Belgium.  Here's what he wrote:

    "As a result of a phoned complaint to the gaming commission on Tuesday,
    5 October, it has for the first time in Belgium been decided that
    backgammon is a game of chance. I have immediately contacted the gaming
    commission and given numerous arguments with result that they would re-
    examine it. This evening, I have been informed that the commission
    stands by their decision.  This means that it is forbidden to ask an
    entree fee and give out prize money in a backgammon tournament."

Daniel Murphy  writes:

Readers of this forum are probably not aware that tournament backgammon
nearly came to an end in Denmark this year. Yes, Denmark, where a national
federation has guided backgammon for decades, and where backgammon has been
officially recognized as a "mind sport," making the backgammon federation
(along with the federations of many athletic sports and fellow mind sports
chess and bridge) eligible for government subsidies paid for (I believe)
out of the profits of the state's monopoly on domestic lottery and sports
betting wagering.

The threat was a March 2010 multipartisan legislative proposal intended to
improve and modernize Denmark's gaming laws. The problem was that unlike
chess and tournament bridge, which were never intended to be subjected to
the proposed revisions, backgammon was classified as a "combination hazard
game," and faced two unpalatable prospects: outright illegalization, or
subjection to onerous restrictions with regard to venue, participation,
entry fees, prize pools, licensing, and other regulations which would have
made it impossible for the Danish federation to continue running
tournaments as it has been doing so well for so many years.

Only after vigorous participation by the Danish backgammon federation in
the legislative review process, in the form of letters to and meetings with
the government tax ministry whose influential commentary on the proposal
guided the finalization of the proposed legislation, was a compromise
reached that saved tournament backgammon in Denmark. The tax ministry
proposed that "tournament" backgammon be specifically exempted in the
language of the final bill. The ministry's proposal was accepted, and the
bill is now law after passing by unanimous vote in the Danish parliament.
However, in making this concession, the tax ministry reiterated its
position that other (non-tournament) forms of backgammon (specifically,
forms in which the amount of the wager can rise in the course of a game),
very much would be subject to the legislation and therefore prohibited
unless permission to hold such games -- as with other combination games and
games of chance regulated by the legislation -- was sought and granted,
insofar as the final legislation might allow that possibility.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     


Luck versus Skill

Are good players just luckier?  (Douglas Zare, Sept 2000) 
Are luck and skill related?  (Eskimo+, Feb 2003) 
Does backgammon need less luck?  (Raccoon, Jan 2008)  [GammOnLine forum]
How much of backgammon is luck?  (Wai Mun Yoon, Jan 1998) 
How much skill versus luck?  (Alexandre Sierra, Nov 2000) 
How much skill versus luck?  (JP White+, Aug 2000) 
How often to win with perfect play?  (Robert-Jan Veldhuizen, Nov 2000) 
Is backgammon gambling?  (Luc Palmans+, Oct 2010) 
Is backgammon gambling?  (Kevin D. McLeaster, Sept 1997) 
Is there really luck in backgammon?  (benf+, Jan 2012) 
Recognizing luck  (Walter Trice, Dec 2004) 
Strange result  (az-willie+, Mar 2003) 
The Bower Luck-O-Meter  (Gary Wong, Aug 1998) 
Why are stronger players luckier?  (Bob Sweeney+, Oct 2002) 

[GammOnLine forum]  From GammOnLine       [Long message]  Long message       [Recommended reading]  Recommended reading       [Recent addition]  Recent addition

  Book Suggestions
Computer Dice
Cube Handling
Cube Handling in Races
Extreme Gammon
Fun and frustration
GNU Backgammon
Luck versus Skill
Magazines & E-zines
Match Archives
Match Equities
Match Play
Match Play at 2-away/2-away
Opening Rolls
Pip Counting
Play Sites
Probability and Statistics
Source Code
Strategy--Bearing Off
Strategy--Checker play


Return to:  Backgammon Galore : Forum Archive Main Page