Poker Online is a growing pastime in the United States. It has grown in popularity thanks to the legalization of online gambling in several states. However, it is still in the legal gray area, and the legality of certain forms of poker is questionable.
There are numerous interpretations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). However, this law was enacted to protect Americans from the dangers of online gambling, and a few US poker sites are licensed to operate within the country. The act also prohibits banks from processing payments for gambling operators, thereby restricting US players from transferring money to sites. But how does this impact the game of poker?
To understand the true impact of the law, it helps to first consider its history. Before the act was passed, it was legal to play games of poker online, but the laws were ambiguous and often stayed under the radar. In the early 1800s, the steamboat industry grew up along the Mississippi River, and people would travel to other towns to play games of chance. Eventually, these games were introduced to other ports, such as New Orleans.
Aside from the 1961 Wire Act, which is a federal law that prohibits the transport of bets to sites that are not in the state of the player, the legality of poker online is a murky matter. Most players avoid conversions, but there are still some legal options. For example, players in Michigan and Pennsylvania can play on offshore platforms, but these platforms do not have jurisdiction over the state.
For American players, the best option is to sign up for a foreign-based platform. Although these platforms do not have legal jurisdiction over the US, they offer a variety of advantages. First, they are not subject to the restrictions of US laws, including those pertaining to currency, licensing, and security. Second, these platforms often offer large bonuses, and they are easy to claim. Finally, these platforms offer a number of perks, such as cashback.
One of the most important factors in determining the reliability of an online poker site is currency. Players can choose to make deposits and withdrawals in Bitcoins, or other cryptocurrencies, or opt for conventional fiat currencies. Some sites even accept alternative payment methods, such as PayPal. Using these methods allows users to avoid the costs of a central financial institution, and to enjoy the benefits of instant transactions.
The best way to ensure that you are playing on a reputable online poker site is to stick with established brands. Those that have a solid reputation will usually have excellent traffic and lots of tables during off hours. Despite the lack of regulation, some US states have gotten quite far in legalizing online gambling. Currently, the state of New York is the strongest contender. Other state candidates include California and West Virginia. While none have been able to pass any UIGEA legislation, some legislators have made statements in support of online poker regulation.