Poker online is a heavily populated market in the UK including Canada, Italy and other countries in the world where the practice is legal. Those numbers were greatly reduced when Americans were forcibly removed from the equation. Although poker online for money games are no longer as readily available to us players, there are still some great casinos and there may be one in your area that you have failed to locate.
Ok, it’s a given that the differences between casino play and online poker are vast, but there is a lot to be said for playing at a real table against some of the best poker players in the world. Certainly, casino poker may be a little old school for some, but there’s a lot that it still has to offer. People used to drive from one part of the nation to another just to make it to big pot poker games, but then we were spoiled with poker online and that tradition has nearly died out. WPT and WSOP are keeping the real table poker tournaments alive, but poker online is a big part of those events also.
This section will be updated once laws have been changed. Ok guys and gals, there seems to be some confusion – mostly created by online poker sites with a vested interest in online poker revenue, but here are the facts about online poker laws in the US. As of this date it is currently illegal. It doesn’t matter what your State laws are on it, there is a federal law on the books that does not permit financial transactions that are tied in anyway to gambling or online gambling. Trying to differentiate that online poker is not specifically mentioned in the law and that the law is vague doesn’t change the fact that it can be enforced and obviously so with the crackdown on the major poker sites. I am completely for the legalization of online poker so don’t get me wrong. I want that to happen. This word of warning regarding any confusion about the current state of legality for online poker comes from my own research. The US government and now some state governments are making that “gray area” that so many websites like to mention, plainly black and white.
Will the federal government come after you for playing at an online casino or poker site that accepts US citizens? No, but they could go after the casino or poker site and then your money will be locked up in dispute indefinitely. If you are serious about online poker coming back to the US, then please join organizations like FairPlayUSA and others that are working to legalize online poker. In the meantime, there are several other countries in which online gambling and online poker is legal. The choice has been this for many professional online poker players; stay and try to change the laws or leave and continue with their career. I personally would love if online poker personalities would stay and fight, but they need to eat just like everyone else. The patriotic thing to do in this situation is vote, let your voice be heard and change the laws regarding online poker. You are an American, if you feel your government is trampling your God given rights, then step up, shout it out, back representatives that are pro online poker, help your congress men and women that are trying very hard to get this done.
Yes, it sucks, sorry to give you the bad news, but until 2012, when we believe that online poker will be regulated in the US, you should probably not play at poker sites that allow for US players unless you are willing to take the risk that your money might not be paid out to you. Trust me, there is plenty of precedence set now as of April 2011 so you know I don’t have to prove my concerns as they have already taken place.
Am I worried that US online poker players will be hauled off to jail? No, as technically the laws of many states make it a misdemeanor. Am I worried that even more Americans could get bilked out of their life savings if current online poker sites that are open to US players shutdown – hell yes. I’m pissed that it happened already, but ignorance of the law is no excuse. That’s why I feel it is important that at least one person out here on the internet gives you the real story. Continue playing if that is the choice you make with your free will, but please, take this as fair warning.
Once the American online poker and online gambling market is better regulated and brought from the shadows, I will support it 100%. I miss playing online poker for real cash, so I will welcome it with open arms. Until then, I’ll be playing poker at tables in Indian Casinos like Harrah’s in North Carolina. We’re Americans, we aren’t barbarians, criminals or children, but there are laws that we must either live by or change and the only way to do so is enmasse. Vote, create letter writing campaigns, sign those petitions that you are asked to sign. Get to work Patriots and hopefully I will see you at the online poker tables once again!