Is online poker legal in the USA?

Is online poker legal in the USA?

It's a question that crops up time and again on the poker forums. The short answer is YES! There’s no such thing as a ban on online gambling. The bottom line is that Online Poker, which in 49 of 50 States of the USA was legal before Bush signed, is still legal in those states today.

Is online poker legal in the USA? Yes! Join a LEGAL USA-friendly poker site today!

There’s a big over-reaction and unnecessary panic out there. We’re here to guide you through the storm.

Did Bush pass judgement on millions of American sinners when he signed the recent Act? Nope! You're good to go (to Hell, of course). The poker companies, some of whom also seemed to have trouble answering the question "Is online poker legal in the USA?" and then rushed to leave the market in a panic have been the biggest losers, with their market share gobbled up by the brave sites that stayed.

So what's the REAL story? The full name of the law Bush signed is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

You should not worry about playing internet poker, as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act makes NO CHANGES TO US LAW.

What was legal before it was signed is still legal today. So is online poker legal in the USA? Absolutely.

No stormtroopers in jackboots are going to bust down your door and haul your ass off to Guantanamo Bay for playing a few hours of Texas holdem.

Join a LEGAL USA-friendly poker site today!

What about the companies who left the US market?

I am as baffled as everybody else by the sudden response from companies to the Is online poker legal USA question. They must have had very poor legal advice, as there seems no basis for their pullout.

There's a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type reaction in the market, with several sites pulling out, while others offer special enticements to the US players left high and dry by their site of choice.

It is a shame that rational business people have been panicked in this way, to the extent of losing their most lucrative market. Let’s look at the facts of the case and see what your prospects are, if you live in the USA and want to play online poker.

Is online poker legal in the USA? Yes! Join a LEGAL USA-friendly poker site today!

Does the "Online Gambling Ban" mean it’s illegal to play poker online?

No. What the US government is trying to do is prevent poker players from sending and receiving money using online payment systems, such as Neteller (which pulled out of the US market -- and then CANADA?! -- with no apparent need). They are NOT after players, they are targeting the organisations which support the players by moving their money back and forth.

They’re expecting the banks to co-operate with the FBI to prevent transactions to and from gambling sites.

This has already been described as virtually impossible. Imagine asking the USPS to open all the mail, in case somebody is sending cash... It’s about the same scale, only ten times worse because there are many times as many electronic transactions as there are letters.

There’s absolutely nothing to prevent US players from sending and receiving checks and money orders. Yes, it’s more difficult and time-consuming, so the chances are that the net result of the Online Gambling Ban will be to drive out the casual players.

The very people the American lawmakers claim to be protecting – gambling addicts – will of course find a way to fund their addiction.

Is online poker legal in the USA? Yes! Join a LEGAL USA-friendly poker site today!

What has changed since the Act passed?

If you are a shareholder in the Internet Poker companies, you lost the most when they all pulled the US market plug.Surprisingly little, unless you played at the sites which pulled out of the market very early, or had significant money invested in the shares of the companies which decided to withdraw from the US market.

Most of the companies based in the Caribbean continue to accept US players. It’s doubtful whether FBI action could prevent Americans from accessing these poker sites.

The smart money is on the American government finding a way to legalise online gambling and thus claim a huge slice of tax revenue. Once it does, those companies who left the market because they were unsure about is poker legal USA will come back to beg for their customers to rejoin.

Is online poker legal in the USA? Yes! Join a LEGAL USA-friendly poker site today!

Will I lose my money if the site I played at has left the US market?

Almost certainly not, if your previous site was a big player with no risk of bankruptcy. Party Poker has paid out all its US players, including their share of promotions like the Monster series of tournaments.

Some of the smaller companies might struggle to pay all their customers, but we’ve not heard of any problems so far.

So, enjoy your game of poker. Still worried about being arrested in your home for playing Texas Holdem? Don’t be. Click here for an article about State law and Internet Gambling.

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Now you know the answer to "Is online poker legal in the USA?", do you want to join a USA friendly poker site?