Getting to grips with the legal picture of online poker in the US

Poker is a popular game played by millions of people across the world and in recent years the amount of people playing online has risen significantly. In the United States, gambling laws and regulations can be confusing, with online poker being available to play in some states but not others.

Poker has always split opinions, with many arguing that it should be classed as a game of skill, but a closer look at the rules of poker suggest it is a game which must be regulated and only enjoyed by responsible adults, the real controversy comes when the game is outlawed altogether.

The legality of online poker and gambling in general depends on what jurisdiction you reside in, with each state having their own laws in place. While there is no federal law that forbids online poker, some locations including Washington and Indiana have explicit law prohibiting it.

Some states have more lenient online poker laws and regulations than others

  1. The most lenient states are…

There are currently only a few states that have changed their laws to explicitly allow online poker, including New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Most other states do not mention online gambling or poker specifically in their legislation.

New Jersey was the third to legalise online poker in 2013 and now has the biggest legal online gambling industry across all US states. There is a wide selection of legal online casinos and sportsbooks for players to enjoy.

As the home of Las Vegas, Nevada is considered to be the epicentre of all gambling and casino culture in America. This is why it may be surprising that the state has only been operating legal online poker since 2013.

In 2015, the first World Series of Poker online bracelet poker event was held in Nevada. Since this time more online poker bracelet events have taken place each year.

Pennsylvania bought in new online poker and online gambling legislation in 2017 as part of the state’s wider gambling expansion bill. There aren’t many operators currently licenced in PA just yet though.

Lastly, Delaware has allowed online poker since 2013 following a favourable vote in the Delaware Senate. The market was initially very small, but popularity has grown rapidly over the last few years.

West Virginia has also very recently legalised online poker. We can expect it to begin operating in the state in the near future.

There are a number of other states that may potentially allow online poker and other casino games in the near future. Getting legislation and new laws in place can be a lengthy process particularly when there is opposition.

    1. Some states take a very different stance on online gambling…

Utah is an example of a state with very strict laws around gambling. There is not a single casino or tribal casino within Utah and residents are prohibited from playing poker within their own homes. This state is also one of the only ones to have specific laws against online gambling.

Alaska, Hawaii and Texas also prohibit gambling in all forms. In Tennessee, gambling is not prohibited however it can be enjoyed nearby in Mississippi on offshore riverboats. Online poker is a bit of a grey area in the state, as its laws have not been updated to mention online activity.

Also, In Indiana, all online poker and gambling is forbidden with the exception of state-approved online sports betting sites.

      1. How similar are the United Kingdom’s poker laws to those in the United States?

Laws around online gambling in the United Kingdom are much clearer cut than in the United States. The UK has one of the most developed and comprehensive regulatory frameworks in the world.

Residents in the UK can easily access online poker through a regulated online poker site. The UK Gambling Commission is responsible for ensuring the online and land-based operators comply with regulations and issues fines to those who break the rules.

In the UK, 35% of all gambling revenue comes from online gambling, including online poker. That equals around £4.5 billion in revenue per year.

This is significantly more than the amount generated by online gambling in the US at present. The UK leans more towards regulated, taxing and licencing online gambling, while much of the US insists on preventing it.

      1.  Will Biden being president impact gambling laws?

Of course, only time will tell in regards to how Biden’s presidency will impact gambling laws in the United States. However, some predictions can be made based on previous statements he is said to have made.

Biden seems to be in favour of legalised gambling in the country. He has also been opposed to the redefinition of the Wire Act to include online gambling, if it was to be defined this way then it would put any legalisation in states at risk.

At the end of the day, gambling is controlled at a state level in America and this is unlikely to change any time soon. Given this, governing officials in each state are likely to have more of an impact on the future of online poker in their jurisdiction than President Biden will.

Note:- Any recommendation given in the post is for informational purposes only. Kindly check each and everything products/ guide from your end. Article provided by the third party, no NEWSAKMI editorial involved in the creation of this content.

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