RALEIGH, N.C. (CN) - Texas Hold 'em is a game of skill, not of chance, so North Carolina cannot bar a poker operator who pays "a high percentage of the proceeds to local charities," under threat of criminal prosecution, the businessman claims in court.
Robert A. Mussen sued North Carolina and the Wake County District Attorney on Aug. 5, in Wake County Court.
Mussen claims that from 2009 to 2012 he ran a business, Charity Games LLC that ran Texas Hold 'em games." in Mecklenburg County, from which "a portion of the proceeds benefited local charities."
He claims he employed "up to 38 people," kept "a portion of the proceeds and paid a high percentage of the proceeds to local charities. Under threat of prosecution by local authorities, however, Mr. Mussen ceased operating his business and ceased organizing the tournaments."
Mussen claims that Texas Hold 'em is a game of skill, not of chance, so the state cannot bar him from operating his games in Wake County.
In Texas Hold 'em, each player is dealt two card, which he or she can match in five cards turned up, betting after each up-card.
Mussen says he wants to start up his games again in Wake County, but fears prosecution.
He seeks declaratory judgment that Texas Hold 'em is a game of skill, not of chance, and an injunction prohibiting prosecution, on a state constitutional claim that North Carolina citizens are entitled to "the fruits of their own labor."
He is represented by Robert Orr, with Poyner Spruill, of Raleigh.