The legality of online poker has had a bumpy road since the mid-90s. One of the biggest setbacks occurred in 2011. Today, there are four legal states for online poker: Delaware, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Several more are considering the idea of legalizing the game. In the meantime, Michigan and West Virginia have passed legislation allowing online poker. Here are some things to know about online poker in the US. Listed below are a few of the top legal states for online poker.
Despite the difficulties associated with legalizing online poker, Kentucky is one of the states most likely to legalize the game by the end of 2021. Until that time, however, the state has remained one of the least likely to legalize online poker. In 2008, the state seized 140 domains related to online gaming. Then-Governor Steve Beshear led the fight against online gaming, aggressively suing PokerStars for offering online poker to Kentuckians following the 2006 UIGEA.
Besides knowing the rules of the game, an online poker player must also know when and where to move. When a game is going wrong, move to another table. Another important rule to remember is to avoid tilt. Tilt will cause you to make irrational decisions. So, if you feel yourself tilting, stop playing and take a break. If you have an online poker tilt, move to another table. It is better to take a break from playing if your tilt is causing you to make mistakes.
The 2006 UIGEA enacted laws that prohibit banks from processing payments related to online gambling. Though the law was vague and did not prohibit poker, it did affect the industry. Some of the largest online poker websites left the United States. In 2011, the Department of Justice seized some of the most popular poker sites. The sites were accused of money laundering and bank fraud. They were shut down from the US until 2012, when a federal judge ruled that poker is a game of skill and chance, and that gambling is a natural human behavior.
While the US government is not the best example of fair competition, it is certainly one of the largest markets in the world. Poker sites make billions of dollars from online poker. Its revenue alone makes online poker sites the real sharks in the game. But while online poker can be unfair, there is no evidence of widespread cheating. The players are the ones who control the rules, which means the poker sites have a direct financial incentive to remain honest.
While the pact between the US and other states to regulate online poker a few years ago was useful in the short-term, it did not benefit Nevada in the long run. But, the pact did have benefits for Delaware players. Delaware is a smaller market, with only one million people, and players needed out-of-state competition. Even if the pact is a short-term solution, it still helps the industry to grow.