- US Online Poker Laws

Online Poker Laws In The USA

While sports betting and casino action do provide fun, these forms gambling have not blown up in popularity the same that poker has. This is why the online poker laws in the USA have become more important, as players are living in a cloud of fear that it is actually a crime to play poker online. Simply put, it is not currently a crime to play online poker, and you therefore have nothing to worry about when it comes to Internet poker. We have done the research in order to make sure of this, as we do not want our players actually getting into trouble for something that should be seen as a source of entertainment, stress relief, and financial prosperity.

The laws regarding online poker are fairly slim. First and foremost, you will want to look at the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Also known as the UIGEA, this law had made a few things criminal:

  • 1) Accepting payments for for unlawful Internet gambling.
  • 2) Processing payments for unlawful Internet gambling sites.
  • 3) Operating an unlawful Internet gambling site.

The UIGEA has no affect on the player, only the gambling business. Players looking to participate in online poker will find that there is nothing making it a crime for you to participate. In choosing these sites, you will not find that it is a criminal activity to start enjoying these games. We have never heard of a federal arrest against an online gambler, especially not a player of online poker. Provided you follow this advice, you will not have to worry too much about the trouble that can come from playing online poker.

The one thing to watch out for is that of the state laws making it a crime for you to play. There is a small handful of states where online gambling has been criminalized, but for the most part you will not have to worry about this. We have compiled a brief list of states where it is a crime to gamble online. If you live in one of these states, you *could* ultimately be charged with a crime. And no, we do not condone breaking the law.

  • Illinois - Misdemeanor
  • Indiana - Misdemeanor
  • Louisiana - Misdemeanor
  • Montana - Misdemeanor
  • Nevada - Unknown
  • Oregon - Felony
  • South Dakota - Felony
  • Washington - Felony
  • Wisconsin - Misdemeanor

Other than the UIGEA, there is nothing that has actually made it a crime for you to start gambling online. Those who look into the gambling laws will not find much of anything that makes it a crime to play poker on the Internet. The Poker Players Alliance, as well as other lobbyists and lawmakers, are working toward authorizing online poker rooms. There have even been a few states that are actually attempting to authorize a gambling site, but to date there is nothing that has made it a crime for you to participate online. One thing you will want to remember is that we are not attorneys, and therefore we cannot actually give you legal advice. We are just going on what we have read, and we can tell you that you will not encounter much trouble if you decide to start playing with these games, as the online poker laws in the US have done nothing to actually criminalize the gambling laws in the state.