The question of whether online poker is legal in the United States varies from state to state. While some states have embraced the game, others resist it due to factors such as religion and politics that influence their laws. In other cases, states allow tribal gaming interests to offer poker via compacts with state governments.
How to Play Online Poker In the US
There are a number of sites that accept players from all over the United States. These include PokerStars, WSOP.com and a few other state-specific sites that partner up with local casinos to provide online poker to their customers.
New Jersey was one of the first states to legalize online poker and is now home to a wide range of poker options. Currently, the top two sites in New Jersey are PokerStars and WSOP NJ.
Nevada and Delaware followed suit with their own regulated poker platforms, while Pennsylvania passed its own legislation in 2017 and launched online poker in November of 2019. The newest legal online poker state is Michigan, which has been live since January 2021.
West Virginia has also passed legislation to allow regulated online poker but has yet to launch. Lawmakers have approved retail sports betting in 2019 but shot down a mobile sports betting proposal in 2022.
Indiana has a thriving poker scene with live games at several local casinos and is also home to the World Series of Poker Circuit series in Hammond, IN. While Iowa has not made any moves towards introducing legal online poker, there are discussions among lawmakers to introduce online gambling in the state.
Connecticut and North Dakota have not passed legislation to permit regulated online poker. However, it is likely that they will eventually do so.
Oklahoma has a large tribal gaming industry, but online poker is not legal in the state. It is possible that a compact could be established between the state and tribal casinos but nothing has been announced yet.
Ohio has a strong gambling industry but it has not yet passed any online poker laws. It is possible that a multi-state poker agreement like MSIGA could be introduced to Ohio but this is a long process and it is unlikely that lawmakers would pass any online gambling laws in the state anytime soon.
Rhode Island has no legalized online gambling or poker but lawmakers have discussed it on occasion. In fact, a bill to legalize sports betting in the state was approved in 2018. It is possible that poker will be added to that bill but it seems unlikely that the state will make any significant changes anytime soon.
Texas is another state that has a thriving gambling industry but does not have any licensed or regulated poker websites. This is a big concern for many poker players because it makes the games in the state much more difficult to play at.
The best way to play online poker in the United States is to join a regulated site. It is important to choose a trusted, safe, reputable online poker website that uses secure encryption technology.