Is it Legal to Play Poker Online in the US?
Many poker fans regularly ask: “Is it legal to play poker online in the US?” and the answer isn’t straightforward. While most authorities are firmly against the practice, there are currently four states that have legalized poker, though the websites are limited by one federal law.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Prohibition Act (UIGEA) strictly prohibits gambling websites from offering services to US citizens. Further, it stops most banks from processing payments related to gambling sites. So, technically, you can play poker. But can you make money while you’re doing it?
Theoretically, yes you can, because there are no laws explicitly banning online poker. After the constitutional court ruled against a federal sports betting ban. It’s unconstitutional to take lawmaking from state legislators with federal laws.
Laws Against Online Gambling
To date, there are no laws strictly outlawing poker at a federal level, but some states have made it a federal offense to gamble online. Still, no one has been prosecuted or arrested on a national or state level for playing poker on the internet.
In Washington state, playing poker is an offense, and you can be arrested in Utah or Louisiana for having poker software installed. This makes playing the card game, by default, a crime in the two states, though there’s not much legal precedent to go on.
On the other hand, playing online is legal in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. So, if you live in those states, you should be free and clear. Other states are also working on legislation, but it’s slow going for the moment.
So, is it Legal to Play Poker?
Simply put, yes, it’s legal to play poker on a federal standpoint, but you’ll have to check your local laws just in case. Moreover, we recommend looking for your Attorney General’s opinion on it to be sure.
Then, you can sign up to any site (if it’s allowed) and play to your heart’s content.