Legal Online Poker

To play legal poker online is simply a matter of being educated on the laws and statutes that govern the online poker industry around the world and especially in the United States. Most do not know of the laws that surround playing online poker for money and even fewer know what they mean to online poker in the USA, in the individual states. That's what is all about and we're here to tell you everything we know about playing poker legally in the United States and other countries where online poker is booming. There are a lot of misconceptions to clear up, depending on where you live, and there is no time to waste.

Those who stay with us will find several legal poker sites that allow Americans (some from all 50 states) + other players from around the world, to play this game that can drive them crazy but can be so very profitable. Find out how and why the laws in place affect players from signing up and playing cash poker games online. All of these issues will be addressed plus there will be explanation about the different laws directly relating to poker on the Internet. Let's get started!

Is Online Poker Legal?

Yes, online poker can be legally played online by players from the United States. Actually in fact, there are now ways to do it at sites both located in the U.S. and offshore. Not all states have regulated poker sites, there are a few. Highlighted by Nevada, which has in place a legal Internet poker project underway, some states are just waiting to see the initial results before approving regulation themselves. Other states are trying to join in on the action as well, which could prove to be the catalyst to eventual legalization federally if it were to happen.

However, even in states where a poker site cannot be found, American poker players still have legal channels. All 50 U.S. states can play at different online poker sites which happen to be based out of the U.S. The sites offshore are not bound by federal law, and can operate without violating any rules, which you will read about further below on this page.

Legal Online Poker Sites For US Players

Now that we've explained the laws surrounding online poker in the United States, let us show you some of the poker sites that currently allow players from the United States to play in their poker rooms. These sites have been either been around for a long time or are backed by the biggest names in the industry. Either way, these sites are safe to play at and U.S. players do not need to worry about their validity. See a list of legal US poker sites here.

Legal USA Poker Sites
Poker Bonuses
Visit Poker Site
Bovada Poker Review
110% up to $1,000 Poker Bonus Poker
100% up to $1,000 Poker Bonus
BetOnline Poker Review
100% up to $900 Poker Bonus


Bovada Poker Room - Most Popular U.S. Poker Site With More Then 10k Players Online

100% up to $1,000
Poker Bonus
Hold'em, Ohama,
Razz, H.O.R.S.E.

Perhaps the best legal poker room for USA players is found at Bovada. Backed by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (same company that runs Bodog), Bovada is a top notch poker room with large bonuses to boot. Contingent upon signing up for a new account and making the first deposit, new U.S. players have the option to claim a 100% matching deposit bonus that can be good for up to $1,000 in bonuses. This is great news for anybody looking to play Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, H.O.R.S.E., and other Hi/Lo games, all of which are offered at Bovada.

Furthermore, Bovada has several poker deposit methods for USA players including credit cards (high approval rate), and Rapid Transfer (wire transfers). Combine all that with first class support and you have a definite winner. Visit Bovada today to start playing online poker right away and to grab your share of that huge deposit bonus.


BetOnline Poker Room - $150k In Guaranteed Poker Tournaments Every Month

100% up to $1,000
Poker Bonus
Hold'em, Ohama,
Razz, H.O.R.S.E.

The strength of BetOnline lies within the means that players have to legally deposit online. American players can get in on several options, all of which are legal to make. U.S. players from the 50 states can create an account here at the poker room for BetOnline. After the make an account, they are then brought to the deposits page to play for real money to win real money.

Credit cards in the form of a Visa or American Express are gladly accepted at BetOnline, which sure does wonders for simplicity for Americans. The majority of U.S. players will have one of these two cards, if not both. All a player needs to do it input the credit card number with a bit of other information and the deposit is then made to fund the account. After that, it's time to pick the type of poker game or format you want! Poker Room

100% up to $900
Poker Bonus
Hold'em, Ohama,
Razz, H.O.R.S.E.

SportsBetting's online poker room will open the door to a ton of choices that players with an account will have. Even without an account, visit the site and see what you can get with an account. If you live in the United States, a legal account is easily created. The poker room operates 24 hours a day, giving players the chance to win money at all hours.

The money that is deposited into a Sports Betting account can get bigger without having to play anything as well. This is done by the lifetime bonus option at the site. Every deposit made, whether into the poker room, sportsbook, or other area of the site, is eligible for this. A cap of $900 is set, but this can be ascertained one any one of your deposits.


Online Poker Laws That Affect US Players

The online poker laws in the Unites States are almost impossible to explain, but we are gonna try our best. Because the United States is basically 50 small countries inside one large union, it's totally possible to have 50 different sets of laws that govern the game. Beyond that, there are federal laws in place. We briefly touch on the Internet poker laws in the U.S. and tell you which ones apply, which ones don't matter, and which ones are just scary language meant to scare Americans away from poker sites.

UIGEA - The Black Friday Of Legal Online Poker In The United States

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 is simply an inconvenience on the road to playing legal online poker. It says that U.S. banks are forbidden to do transactions with known offshore gambling entities. This means that when you try to use your credit card, there is a good possibility it will be denied because the charge is intended for gambling purposes. Banks typically block these transactions because they don't want to be in violation of the law and they do try to look out for their account holders. Good news is that there are still several ways to deposit money although some are not electronic.

Wire transfers, money orders, and e-wallets are great solutions to this problem. While not as fast as a successful credit card transaction, these deposit methods are much faster than using credit cards that won't work. On the whole, US online poker players need not worry about the UIGEA unless they are depositing funds with illegal forms of transfer. The worst case scenario for violating the UIGEA would be having your funds seized by the U.S. Department of Justice however it should be noted that some U.S. citizens that have had gambling fund seized before were able to recover their money.

The Wire Act of 1961 - An Outdated Law That Is soo To Be Changed

Simply put, the 1961 Federal Wire Act has no bearing on online poker anymore. Recently, the US Dept. of Justice published its new interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act and it stated that any form of gambling not related to betting on sports falls outside of the jurisdiction of the Wire Act. Stopping offshore sports betting was the original goal of the Wire Act back in 1961. Later, that interpretation was expanded to include all forms of online gambling but the Department of Justice has since backed off of that stance and now only considers online sports betting to be in violation. This is great news for USA poker players as the available options for US accepted online poker sites should improve dramatically.

State Gambling Laws - Know If Online Poker Is Legal In Your States

Depending on which state you live in, there may be laws on the books which ban playing online poker. Most states do not have these laws but a handful do. You will want to be sure to check your local ordinances and state statutes to make sure that you are not in violation of these laws. In reality, no state will enforce any law they may have on the books that makes online poker illegal when it comes to the individual.

If you live in Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware, there is good news. Your state has laws in place to regulate online gaming and poker is included. These states are slowly approving online poker sites as of 2013. We'll be sure to bring those sites to you on as they become available and tell you who is allowed to play at them.

More About Legal Online Poker

While the laws in countries, and even between states, are different, there are a few things that are universal. The areas covered in the following section are going to be behind-the-scenes, or the stuff you always find in the fine print. We're going to highlight them so you aren't blindsided and go into playing online poker fully aware of what awaits.

Legal Gambling Age & How It Affects Online Poker

In most states the legal age to play poker is 18 years old. Some states do require players to be older however there is simply no way of enforcing this when playing online. What you do need to focus on is the legal gambling age at the online poker room. Most sites, if not all of them, have a minimum age of 18. You will want to be sure to abide by this as failure to do so can result in a player not being paid their winnings.

Poker Deposits - Getting Money Into Legal Online Poker Rooms

One of the most important aspects of online poker sites has to do with the way that accounts can be found, especially for U.S. players. The UIGEA can have a bearing on whether or not certain methods of depositing will be able to go through for U.S. players. It's important to understand however that the poker player is not violating the UIGEA by doing so, and just because a deposit is not accepted does not mean it's against the law. The UIGEA has made it more difficult for online transactions to be processed however.

Such deposit methods that are found most often where U.S. players are accepted are credit cards, which are hands down the most popular way to fund an account. But it doesn't leave off with credit cards. Western Union transfers are available at many legal poker sites and give players, particularly those in the U.S., another easy route to take. Other electronic method like a MoneyGram or bank wire can be found at times as well. Each online poker site will have their specific methods however.

Poker Payouts - Withdrawal Money Out Of Legal Poker Sites

Withdrawal methods are every bit as important as a deposit method. Online poker players like to see their winnings fast, as Internet poker rooms try to provide quick turnarounds in their service. American players will typically receive several choices to pick from at a poker room as to how they want to receive their winnings. The easiest method to go with is a check in the mail, as it is sent to the address on the account and received with about three weeks. Of course, individual poker rooms will have their separate cashier to discuss with the account holder about the best way to receive the payment and what the expectation will be. We have more on withdrawals and payouts in its own section, for which more information can be had on methods that can be found.

Disclaimer From

None of the staff at here at are legal professionals but rather seasoned online poker players. We have more than 30 years in combined experience when it comes to dealing with online poker sites and the laws surrounding them. All of the information on this page is for reference only. Please consult a lawyer in your state if you want more clarification on the UIGEA, the Federal Wire Act of 1961, and/or your state/local gambling laws.

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