Is It Legal to Play Poker Online for Real Money?
Recently updated on January 12th, 2023
Technically, it is legal to play poker online for real money because there’s no law against it in the US. That’s why US Players use many offshore poker sites to play the game. Some states in the USA have passed bills that allow players to play poker online for real money.
But there are some limits to the bills. Read this guide to learn how to play poker online for real money in America.
Where Can I Play Poker Online for Real Money?
Six states in the US allow players to play online poker for real money. US players can choose to play through poker apps or websites. Delaware was the first state to pass a law that allowed players to play poker online for real money. The law was passed in 2012.
The following year Nevada was the second state to legalise real money poker. The state issues poker sites with licenses to operate. A week later, New Jersey was the third state that legalized online poker for US players. The state issued licenses that allowed Atlantic City punters to play online and live poker.
US Laws on Real Money Online Poker
In America, two federal laws regulate online poker. We list both these laws below:
The Wire Act
The first law that governs online poker in the US is the Interstate Wire Act of 1961. The act is also known as the Federal Wire Act. The law prohibits some gambling businesses from using wire communications.
This act was codified before the internet was conceived. But many believe it still regulates online poker and other online gambling activities. The Department of Justice released a legal opinion in 2011 stating that online poker falls outside the law’s jurisdiction.
The UIGEA – Legal Online Poker
In 2006, Congress passed UIGEA, it made it illegal for USA banks to process transactions for offshore online gambling operators. This law pushed several online poker sites out of business. However, some sites remained operational within US borders.
In 2011, however, DOJ took action against these remaining sites – including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet – charging them with various illegalities.
Sweepstakes Online Poker for Real Money
Sweepstakes poker sites are online gambling that is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. These sites allow players to compete for prizes by playing poker games against each other. While sweepstakes poker is currently only legal in a handful of states, this is expected to change as more states begin to recognize the legality of this type of gambling.
Sweepstakes poker sites offer many benefits for players. First, these sites allow players to win prizes without having to risk any money of their own. Second, sweepstakes poker sites are an excellent way for players to improve their skills in the game of poker.