Two Quebec Men bet $517,000 on a best of 3 game of RPS
Hooper v. Primeau, that was the headline leading up to the match and that was also how it ended up in Quebec Courts.
Gambling is an easy way to win or lose money in very short period of time. Some may claim that it is all about luck and strategy, but in order for you to place a bet, there must be an element of skill involved. In Quebec, 2 businessmen bet $517,000 on a game of Rock Paper Scissors. When the game was over the loser had to sign a debt contract secured by their mortgage. When there was some trouble collecting payment his was eventually taken to court. In order for the activity to be a valid contract to the courts it would need to satisfy 3 separate criteria.
1) The activity on which the bet is placed must be legal and under the rules of law. It should not be an illegal activity, illegal play or any type of illegal game.
2) The activity, play or game must include a physical activity or skill. It shouldn’t totally depend on luck.
3) If the losing party is not in the condition to pay the bet cost, no enforcement would be used. There are no strict rules on taking money from a person who cannot afford it.
Since Rock Paper Scissors is not illegal to play that knocks number 1 off the list very quickly. Now the fun part, Is Rock Paper Scissors a physical activity or a game of skill. The answer is yes! Because of the rapid execution of the chosen move, observation of an opponent’s move and the strategic choice of a move over the course of a three game match. There were other expensive games of Rock Paper Scissors, but none went to the courts and they all could afford the game. In this case Mr. Hopper would have been in a financially precarious position if the contract would be enforced, so the courts could not allow the gambling contract to be valid.
Mr. Primeau’s side argued that the debt contract secured by the mortgage was a subsequent contract and that even though the $517,000 contract was not recognized the signed contract should be enforced. This was of course quickly rejected “one cannot do indirectly that which is forbidden directly.” So, you can’t sign a contract for something that you cant enforce legally in order to make it legal.
What we can learn from this is find someone very rich and place a large bet on a match of rock paper scissors. If you lose just claim you can’t pay and buy the rock paper scissors handbook to help stop losing and if you win enjoy your winnings.