Legal Poker Sites 2018 - USA Poker Site Reviews & News
The only real no-deposit bonus Much looser players than Stars Excellent bug-free real-money app No-download Instant Play version. You can reach Josh directly at support beatthefish. Unfortunately, those USA freerolls have been removed. Pennsylvania Taking Applications from Out-of-State iGaming Operators Pennsylvania is offering Qualified Gaming Entities from outside the state the opportunity to apply for licenses to offer online gaming. Stick with US poker sites who have better processors or use a prepaid gift card with international capabilities. The Federal Wire Act, also known as the Interstate Wire Act of , was the first major law enacted to specifically address sports betting and wagering across state lines using wire communication.
Background for legal online poker in the United States
Funds are eventually released back to players several months later, but no future e-wallet servicing US players is able to survive long-term. Processing deposits and withdrawals becomes even more difficult for those sites still catering to US players. The domains of these market-leading USA poker sites are seized and completely banished from operating in the United States. Pokerstars takes less than two weeks to refund US players. Full Tilt Poker loses its operating license in June. UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, collectively known as the Cereus network, simply shut down without giving USA players any method of withdrawing their funds.
It would take several years for American players to be paid out. Pokerstars buys the assets of Full Tilt Poker. As part of the agreement, USA players are finally allowed to begin withdrawal procedures after waiting more than a year. Nevada , Delaware , and New Jersey issue licenses for state-based poker operators. Only players physically present in those states are allowed to play online.
Partypoker, Pokerstars, and Poker all have a presence in different states. Interstate compacts would eventually allow players from different states to compete against each other. Nevada and Delaware sign an online poker compact which allows the two states to combine their player pools into one. Although the total player pool is modest, the agreement was a milestone for online poker development in the United States.
After being gone for more than five years, Pokerstars returns to the USA , offering gameplay to players in New Jersey. PokerStars NJ launched in March , fueling optimism that more states would eventually allow the worldwide leader to obtain licensing.
The US poker market has largely been stable with several states in various stages of regulation and no attacks against unregulated USA-friendly sites since Bitcoin becomes the de facto payment processing system for American-based players due to its privacy and lack of control by any government.
The problem for prosecutors is that the main federal anti-gambling statute, the Wire Act, has been held in a published federal Court of Appeals decision to be limited to bets on sports events and races.
Without a doubt, the legality of online poker is the most common question asked about US poker sites since it became its own market in The most common are:. The former 2 answers are laughable to me , not so much for their opinions, but that any writer at a poker website feels qualified to give you an answer on if something is legal or not.
There are a handful attorneys who can because they actually specialize in gaming and poker law. I largely base my analysis on what my favorite gaming law expert, the incomparable Professor I. Nelson Rose , has to say on the subject. The lack of review of the laws that literally changed the game of online poker and lost hundreds of millions of dollars to shareholders is mind-boggling.
Even more fascinating is that the mass exodus of publicly-traded online poker sites open to the US that changed everything was done as a result of misinterpretation. Studying the language and even the name itself of that decade-old federal online gambling law, however, can help.
There is no federal law against merely playing poker. Half the states do have mostly ancient laws on the books making it a crime, sometimes, to make a bet. But in the other half, it is not a crime to even bet with an illegal operation. It was such a popular and inaccurate phrase that I did a whole piece on it. In fact, there are no federal laws that mention playing online poker specifically. Professor Rose, whom I consider the definitive expert on gaming law, tells you that himself.
Although this interview is a little old now, take a look at this clip with Professor Rose for a primer on US online poker law:. Here are the highlights. Left the US market in October Owned by Holdings. It's unclear if they later paid a settlement to USA authorities. Currently one of the top poker sites in the world, by traffic.
Sister site of Poker, Pacific Poker was also among the first to withdraw their services from the United States. Owned by Party Gaming. Party Poker decided to leave the US market immediately after the passage of UIGEA, leaving the door open for their return when separate US states started to pass online poker legislation.
Currently, Party Poker offers their services to New Jersey residents. They feature dozens of online poker sites, with some of the most popular being Titan Poker, Bet, and William Hill. Never entered the USA market. As they caught wind of anti-online gambling legislation in the works, they made the decision to never offer play to Americans.
Left the US market in September The second largest open online poker network, Microgaming includes some big names like Stan James and Mansion Poker. At that point, Microgaming decided to leave the US poker market and so far they have no presence in regulated states. Forced out of the USA market in April PokerStars remains the 1 online poker site in the world, by player traffic.
They've managed to reestablish their presence in the USA by entering the regulated New Jersey poker market. The poker site was only salvaged when PokerStars decided to buy them and return all players' balances. Completely shut down in April After their domains were seized by the US Department of Justice in April of , these two sites never came back online.
After years of waiting, former players are now able to request refunds of their player balances. American online poker players?
They mostly get the scraps. You can make a deposit with a US-friendly real money poker site only to find out that no one is willing to play for more than. They can play on a licensed real money US poker site and, you know, only deal with the hollow bonuses and empty tables the rest of the country does. All of these hurdles, legal and otherwise, have faced US poker sites since and yet… US poker still survives.
It may not always be pretty, but US-friendly online poker is still standing after some vicious body blows and cheap shots. US poker players are non-conformists. They can play on a licensed US poker site. A sampling of some of my favorites:. Yes, pretty much every online poker site ever has obtained a license from some tax-and-gaming-friendly jurisdiction.
Fine parts of the world, to be sure, but likely more concerned about that annual licensing fee than actually regularly testing the games and payouts. Heck, Absolute Poker and UB were licensed and literally allowed to operate for years after their own employees were found to be cheating poker players.
So just throw the license out the window. With no government oversight unregulated US poker sites are really only influenced by you , the American consumer. If a poker site screws up enough on a large enough scale e.
Pennsylvania is the most recent state to legalize online poker and could be the second state to welcome PokerStars in the USA. As state by state roll outs occur we will continue to keep you updated on when PokerStars will make it to your state.
PokerStars will be in more USA states in the near future. Players are still choosing to play at legit offshore sites such as Ignition Poker and BetOnline, due to 50 state acceptance. Real money play will only be accessible if you are visiting or live within New Jersey.
You might also have to have 3 three wifi networks within your area for geolocation purposes. The government can and should allow a grace period for operators and players to take the appropriate actions. There will be few choices for online poker players in Australia going forward. Live poker will remain legal and a viable option for those who live near land-based casinos, but the environment, pace, and game selection will be radically different from the typical online action.
Relocating is also an option, though many other areas of the world are also enacting laws that segregate player pools and offer much different options than the dot-com market to which the Aussies have become accustomed. Goodbye online poker in Australia. Was a huge part of my life for yrs, sad to see it go. Finally, beware of offshore operators who skirt the law. Caution is advised when choosing such a path. Aussies, lean on your American friends. Reach out to them on internet poker forums and ask for advice from people who have been in your position.
Jennifer has been a freelance writer in the poker industry for a decade. She left a full-time job with the World Poker Tour to tell the stories of poker. She now lives in St.