Is it Illegal to Play Online Poker in the US?

Is It Illegal to Play Online Poker in the US?

Is It Illegal to Play Online Poker in the US? It depends on where you live.

The quick and easy answer to this question could be, its all according to the specific laws and jurisdictions according to your country. For the US citizens though the answer is simply no. Now it may come as a shock to many to realize that actual gambling online is not an offense, but the funding of money to allow one to do so is. Just another prime example of the complexity of the laws of the land. So many laws are open for interpretation and as a result many just make assumptions. In this case because the law states funding of gambling activities is not allowed, then it assumed that online gambling is illegal.

If you question the validity of this then how many online gamblers do you know or have even heard of have been federally charged for placing wagers online? Chances are none because there is no federal law that says you can’t. Now there have been some specific State orientated infractions where a fine has been levied for this type of activity. There are some states that do have specific anti gaming laws for online betting.

You also have to take a close look at the specifics of the various gambling venues. There is sports betting, then there is online gambling through the poker and casino venues. Where the illegal issue comes in is with financial institutions providing the means for online players to bankroll their gambling ventures. There is a big difference here in what dictates what is legal and illegal.

To further support this take on the legalities of online betting, just take a look at who the law targeted first when the hammer hit in legislature and put UIGEA into force. It was all those financial institutions who were making it easy for the US gamblers to fund their playing at the various sites that they enjoyed. Now for many players of online poker and casino buffs this was a big blow. Its pretty difficult to enjoy the games when you can’t put the money in to play the games.

One thing you need to keep in mind though as mentioned earlier, law is often a matter of interpretation. If can easily be applied where it is not in your favor. Perhaps you could be fined or charged under the current laws simply because the law enforcers in your area read the law that way. It would take a great deal of time and legal fees to prove the misinterpretation and the bottom line is you have to determine is it worth the risk.

There are many Countries that are all in the same predicament when it comes to writing clear and concise rules regarding online gambling. Many have sat back and watched with a keen eye as to what kind of impact UIGEA would have in the USA. As a result of this, some countries feel that the laws have failed, and besides it is almost better to adopt the attitude if you can’t beat them than join them (avid online gambling promoters) and glean off the income it could generate.

Here is a list of online poker sites currently accepting US players.

Short URL: http://www.ggpokernews.com/?p=1207

Posted by on Dec 5 2011. Filed under Poker Legal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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