Casino fans have had a frustrating past couple of years due to a lack of access to their favorite games. So when poker fans couldn’t access casinos during the past couple of years, they turned to online platforms instead. This caused Google searches for online poker to reach a five-year peak, as more poker players started to look for ways to be able to play their hobby virtually. Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania reported record-breaking numbers of online gamers, therefore highlighting the popularity of the card game among Americans.
If you want to try your hand at online poker, it should be noted that you could face a few roadblocks depending on your state. Before you start playing online poker, here’s what you need to know:
US Locations That Allow Online Poker
You don’t need to go to a casino to enjoy a good game of poker. Since there are plenty of online options available, the first thing you’ll need for your poker game is a reliable internet connection. While this is easier for those in urban areas, rural players might need to utilize their cellular data plans to get a reliable connection. If you don’t want to use your phone line or cable connection, a fixed wireless network can help you enjoy a game of poker without any lags or poor graphics.
After securing a reliable internet connection, you’ll need to consider the locations that allow online poker. Though more than half of the country’s states permit live poker, this list of online poker legislations per state shows that only Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, and West Virginia have permitted state-licensed online poker. New York and Kentucky are making annual efforts to legalize online poker in their states, while Illinois, Indiana, and North Dakota have only examined proposals for online poker and so far, have made no progress. As such, fans will need to revisit the list periodically to check if lawmakers have submitted bills for consideration and succeeded in legalizing online poker in their state.
Understanding the Legislation on Online Poker
Only a few states have permitted state-licensed online poker due to a financial legislation. Online poker started in the early 2000’s, but the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 made the game difficult to play because it prohibits financial institutions from allowing wire transfers to online gambling sites. The Department of Justice then released a memo regarding interstate transmissions of wire communications in 2011, which is when Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania legalized online poker within their borders. Other states can follow in their footsteps by passing similar legislation, especially those which have land-based casinos and historically embraced online gambling.
But apart from waiting for state legislations, poker fans are also assessing the value of cryptocurrencies for online poker. While it’s prohibited for financial institutions to support transactions to online gambling sites, cryptocurrencies enable transfers to these sites without the intervention of financial institutions. As such, cryptocurrencies could also be one of the solutions for the growth of online poker games across the US.
Though you can only play online poker in six US states, poker fans are optimistic that other states will soon allow the public to play across the country. For now, poker fans can wait for new state legislations to be passed and for the expansion of cryptocurrencies in online poker.