Backgammon vs. Poker
Posted By: Matt Cohn-Geier In Response To: If (Pat MacNeil)
Date: Wednesday, 26 February 2014, at 1:02 a.m.
In Response To: If (Pat MacNeil)
Here's the thing. It's true, there are some similarities between backgammon and poker. They are both games. Both involve statistical and logical reasoning. Both involving making choices in the face of uncertain outcomes in which probability plays some role.
Beyond that, there are some major differences between backgammon and poker. Poker immediately lends itself to gambling, whether money or tournment wise. If you play in a few poker tournaments, you think "hey, I could make money online playing poker tournaments, and I could play any time I wanted." There is no such online market for backgammon, and has never really been one except perhaps for one brief window in the mid 2000s. No kids are dropping out of school to become professional backgammon players, because most kids don't know that backgammon exists.
If backgammon were a multibillion dollar industry, where there was a mass of kids spending all their hours playing online, or federal agents were raiding multiple underground backgammon games, then it would have enough similarities to poker to justify implementing nationwide policies. If, at some point, there were a World Series of Backgammon in a Vegas casino with a $10k entry fee on ESPN, then I could understand not having minors around.
But, backgammon is a game that kids play with their grandma (that is, if either the kids or grandma are aware of its existence). Barring them from playing doubles with their parents because there is a nominal entry fee seems crazy (whether a state could or would legally construe it as gambling might vary from state to state and I am not a legal expert by any means--but it certainly seems well beneath their pay grade).
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