Poker has been around for decades and in the internet age it is even more popular than ever. It’s been boosted by social media, which allows players to connect with each other and share tips. It’s also benefited from technological advances like video streaming and the ability for professional players to interact directly with fans. However, despite the popularity of online poker, questions have still persisted: Is online poker legal?
The answer to this question is somewhat complicated, with states adopting different approaches. Some have legalized the game and others have strict anti-gambling laws that make it impossible for poker sites to operate in their jurisdictions. However, the landscape is constantly changing and there are positive signs that more states will soon introduce regulated poker.
California leads the way in terms of regulated poker, with New Jersey following closely behind. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are poised to join the ranks and promise to be significant markets when they launch. These six states, along with Nevada, form the core of a burgeoning multi-state market that could boost revenues for both state casinos and poker operators.
New York is another state with a big appetite for gambling, and active supporters of regulated online poker give us hope that the state will eventually pass legislation. New York’s proximity to regulated markets in neighboring states and its large population make it an attractive prospect for online poker, but we’ll have to wait and see how the political climate develops.
Oregon has explicit anti-iGaming laws that prevent its residents from playing regulated poker, but this may change as sports betting becomes more prevalent in the state. Oregon’s first sportsbook launched in 2019 and lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow for more legal options for residents, including online poker.
Rhode Island is a small state, but it’s an important one for the future of online poker. Its legislature has voted in favor of sports betting, which is expected to lead to a bill that will allow for regulated poker. However, the state has some of the most restrictive anti-gambling laws in the country, so it will take a major shift in public opinion to bring about a legislative change.
In the state of Colorado, residents are able to play live poker on Indian reservations in some parts of the state and at Black Hawk. However, Colorado is a long drive from the nearest legal online poker sites in Nevada and it doesn’t look as though that’s going to change any time soon.