Why Is Online Poker Illegal In The US?
Online poker has experienced a huge boom in recent years. Of course, part of this is because of the accessibility that the internet gives to everyday people. After all, if you know how to play and would like to try your hand against strangers you may be reluctant to commit to a local group. But playing online allows you to try this challenging game from the comfort of your bed; if you choose.
Even better, when you first sign up to many of the online poker sites you will find that you are offered free bets; for more info on free bets, click here.
The Legality of Online Poker In The US
The US has resisted allowing online poker sites to operate within their borders; despite the fact that it has been hotly contested on several occasions.
Online poker is another form of online gambling which means it must be certified and approved by the state.
In fact, in 2005 online poker was briefly made legal; providing the operator of the site located their physical operations in the same state as they registered for online poker. Unfortunately, the bill was never finalized as the state senate ruled against it in 2006.
In a bid to get round this ruling many online poker sites changed their sites from .com to .net with no real gambling opportunities. However, they did teach people how to play and emphasized the fact that they were not gambling websites.
Of course, if US players decided to switch to the online poker’s foreign site they could play legally as they were not effectively operating within US law.
By late 2006 a new piece of legislation was passed that prohibited this loophole. Companies offering online poker could no longer accept or deal with bets made if an American financial institution was involved.
Since the majority of US based players used US bank accounts there was no profit in continuing and most online poker sites simply closed down the US side of their operations.
The situation remains largely the same for most states of the US. There are several places, such as New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada which allow online poker. This has become allowable although not generally accepted due to legislation passed in 2011 directed at online lottery sales but effectively covering poker at the same time.
The reason for this prohibition is simply to protect US citizens from fraud and discourage addiction to gambling; in any form. It is estimated that one in every four dollars spent online is spent on gambling. The US government is doing everything they can to limit this number and believe that keeping online poker illegal is an important step in the right direction.
It is impossible to say what will happen in the future but, at some point it is likely that online poker will become legal; although there may be strict guidelines which will need to be followed by every operator and their players. Until then, you will need to either move state or find another way to gamble.