Saturday, May 08, 2010

English-Only Anti-Cheating Rule Causing Problems For Canadian Casinos

If you're a brick and mortar poker player, especially in the UK, you know about the "English-Only" rule that is strictly enforced in British casinos. Although it is also enforced in all US poker rooms, this rule stating that players at the table may only converse in the English language is less adhered to in the US. The reason for the rule is plain and simple: allowing players to communicate verbally only in the world's most common language makes it more difficult for collusion players and other cheaters speaking foreign languages to advance their poker cheat scams via communication.

In Canada, however, many see this rule as unfair. Although English is the dominant language in Canada, French has equal official status and is spoken by the natives of the country's largest province, Quebec. French-Canadian citizens playing poker at casinos in chiefly English-speaking provinces feel they are being discrimnated against when told they may not speak French at their poker tables. They certainly have a point when you consider that French is an official language of Canada. As far as the casinos in Quebec go, I am not sure of each one's policy but I believe both languages are permitted at the poker table. In any case, I think there are generally enough bilingual (English and French) poker players in Canada to recognize any cheat-conversation going on in either language.

The Canadian government will probably have to get involved in this if the problem continues to disturb casino poker games. I am told that some casinos will open up French-only tables upon request, which to me seems like a pretty fair consideration on the casinos' part. In the meantime:

"Defense de tricher!"

It means "cheating prohibited!"