To many gambling industry professionals, the lawsuits and the all the hype surrounding the rather harmless Hollywood celebrity high stakes poker games has been laughable. Seriously, what’s the big deal?
One celebrity is taking it one step further and calling for the lawsuit against him to be dismissed. Nick Cassavetes, the director of The Notebook and Alpha Dog, has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him and his winnings on the premise that playing Texas Hold’Em in the state of California is not an illegal form of gambling.
California law does stipulate that illegal gambling constitutes percentage games, ruling out roulette, blackjack, 21, hokey-pokey, rondo, tan, fan-tan and the like. As the law describes, for example, blackjack is a banking game because it is played against the house. However, Cassavetes may have a valid point, as in the game of Texas Hold ‘Em, you only play against the other players. Additionally, the California penal code does not single out Texas Hold’Em as an illegal form of gambling.
As TMZ reports, Cassavetes is being sued by the bankruptcy trustees of Brad Ruderman who is a convicted ponzi scheme criminal and one of the people to have lost a lot of money in the games, to celebrities like Cassavetes and Tobey Maguire, Leo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck , interestingly enough, the MLB will be pleased to note no mention of A-Rod.
From an objective standpoint, these lawsuits are a waste of litigation. From a legal standpoint, if Cassavetes argument holds water, these lawsuits have no basis.
If anything, there should be a law prohibiting losers from suing people who take their money in a poker game.