Guide to Understanding the Poker Gambling USA Laws

Despite recent changes to laws regarding online gambling, the United States of America still remains a highly popular country for this pastime. However, due to confusing legislation in recent times and the closure of some of the biggest names in the industry, thousands of enthusiasts are now unsure about the legal issues and potential ramifications of participating. There are several different factors that go into understanding the poker gambling USA situation - let's take a closer look at them to gain a better knowledge of what's happening.

So, Is It Legal?

In a word, yes. Most of the confusion surrounding the issue is rooted in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or the UIGEA, which passed in 2006. This bill forced a number of popular gaming sites to stop doing business in the United States, but simply participating is not technically illegal at this point in time. There are still a number of highly ranking sites in the country that are turning world-class players out into the world; you just have to vet them well. In a couple states, such as Nevada and New Jersey, it has even been legalized and is completely regulated and taxed.

Understanding the UIGEA

Signed into law back in 2006 by President Bush, the UIGEA was a bill that made the acceptance of funds by Internet gambling websites and poker gambling USA unlawful in some circumstances. Some of the big name companies that ended up leaving the market included Party Poker and 888 Poker, because it had become impossible to continue doing business. It is important to understand that the player is not in any way liable for taking part - only the website needs to worry about liability and being in violation of this law. However, the individual participant does still need to take responsibility for determining the legality of the game due to age, his or her particular place of residence or any other restrictions which may apply.

What about Real Money?

There are a few different ways to avoid running afoul of strict poker gambling USA rules when it comes to depositing real cash. The most reputable and highly ranked sites do accept credit cards and wire transfers, while some others rely on 3rd party financial transaction processing methods. Different sites have different policies for financial transactions, so be sure to check the fine print before playing to be sure that you can access them in your location. Some companies even accept Bitcoin, an Internet-based currency gaining popularity with computer-savvy users. Almost all sites will allow you to enjoy their games for free if they offer a free version of their software.

What Does the Future Hold?

Many people wonder if the poker gambling USA laws will ever change. Although nobody knows for sure when it will happen, many believe that it is only a matter of time before there are fully licensed and regulated options up and running on the Internet. There are a number of organizations, including the Poker Players Alliance as well as FairPlay USA, which are involved in extensive lobbying for restoring full legality and have seen some positive progress achieved on some state levels. Activists hope to see the rest of the states soon follow the examples set by Nevada and New Jersey.

Despite the departure of some of the biggest sites from the American market, people retain hope that soon the laws will change and allow their favorite pastime to become more easily accessible once again. Until then, free versions and brick and mortar tables will probably continue to enjoy a surge in popularity.