The Legality of Online Poker

To begin playing online poker, you must first download an app from the Apple App Store or a website run by an online poker operator. Once downloaded, you will need to create an account with the poker operator of your choice. This process will require you to provide personal information such as your name, address, and birth date, as well as the last four digits of your social security number.


There are a number of legal issues associated with the legality of online poker. Although internet poker is different from casino gambling, many of the same concerns apply. Many jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom and the Caribbean, have legalized and regulate online poker. In North Dakota, a measure to outlaw online poker was rejected in the state legislature in March 2005. While the US Department of Justice argues that online poker is illegal, many legal experts disagree.


The history of online poker is a complex one. Historians have different theories as to where poker’s roots may lie. Some think the game first emerged in China during the eighth century A.D., where it was originally known as “domino cards.” Other historians believe the game was first played on New Year’s Eve.

Legality in each state

Online poker is legal in six states, plus the District of Columbia. West Virginia, which has a low population, does not permit interstate liquidity sharing. Nevada became the first state to legalize online poker in 2013, but has yet to legalize other forms of gambling. Since then, other states have legalized online poker, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. However, while Delaware has been the fastest growing state in terms of online poker, it still lags behind Nevada and other states.

Legality in California

In 2014, the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel tribe in California attempted to launch a real-money online poker site. The tribe is one of more than 100 federally recognized Indian tribes in California, but the federal government halted the operation. They argued that the poker site violated the UIGEA because it was accessible to those outside of the reservation. A federal appeals court ruled that the poker site violated the law, and the tribe lost the case.

Legality in Delaware

Although Delaware is not one of the largest gaming markets in the United States, it has legalized online poker. The state’s expansion of its gaming laws in 2012 allowed existing gaming establishments to open legal websites. In 2013, three of Delaware’s land-based casinos introduced online casinos using software developed by 888 Holdings.

Legality in West Virginia

Although the legality of online poker in West Virginia is still in question, many people are optimistic that the state will soon allow the online game to be played on their state’s online casinos. The state has about 1.8 million residents and few tourists, so the legislature is working hard to make sure that online poker will be legal.

Legality in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates the online gambling industry and distributes licenses to internet-based poker sites. PokerStars is among the online gaming sites that have received licenses. In Pennsylvania, the gaming industry is huge; it generates over $6 billion in tax revenue every year. The state also recently passed the 2004 Gaming Act, which allowed 12 land-based casinos to open in the state. Legal poker makes up a large part of the casino games offered.

Legality in New Jersey

Since launching its online poker market in 2013, New Jersey has led the way in legal online poker. It also has one of the most diverse markets, with many operators providing real-money games. This ensures that players will have plenty of action to keep them occupied. The market had been stagnant for several years, but a massive increase in players and prize pools during the recent Coronavirus pandemic spurred growth. The result was record revenue numbers in March and April 2020.

Legality in Nevada

Nevada online poker sites are regulated by the state’s gaming board, which is responsible for ensuring that they are legitimate. These websites use reputable payment processors and SSL encryption technology to safeguard player funds. This ensures that your personal information and money are safe even if the online poker site falls on hard times. Licensed operators also ask players to verify their identities before approving withdrawal requests. This can be done by uploading an official form of ID. Once verified, you can make deposits or withdrawals.