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The Legality of Online Poker
by: Jeff Dragt

The topic of whether online poker is legal or illegal is frankly quite interesting. Typically, gambling is managed by each individual state, and as a result some states have legalized gambling and casinos and others do not. However, the internet is not something that can be managed by each state because it is global, there are no controls so to speak by individual countries, states, or governments on the Internet because it is like another world. But, back to the legality of poker online, a question that has no answer or many answers depending on how you look at it. There is no precedent set for gambling online, as a result there is no way to say that gambling online is legal, illegal, or none of the above. In fact, you could answer yes, no, or maybe, and be just as right with any of these answers. The Wire Act is one issues people say that makes gambling online illegal because it bans gambling by phone, however there is no precedent set that makes this statement valid regarding Internet gambling. As a result, while there are plenty of ways to infer gambling online is illegal, there is no way to prove so until a precedent is set. Setting a legal precedent requires someone being charged with playing online poker and then being found guilty. As of yet, not one single American soul out of the millions who play online poker each and every day has ever been charged, fined, or convicted of this act.

You might find this information not very helpful because your question is whether or not you can safely play poker online and not worry about breaking the law or being subjected to prosecution or fines of any type. Well, there is no outright answer, which favors playing poker online because there is nothing saying you absolutely cannot play poker online. Even if your state does not have legalized gambling or casinos, you can still play poker online and not worry about the authorities catching you and giving you a ticket. At the moment in time, finding all the online poker players, and fining them is not the main goal of states, and until there is some definitive statement regarding online poker you should play your heart away. Additionally, the fact that no legal precedent exists regarding online poker means you really have nothing to worry about.

However, if you are really concerned about the legality, or illegality, of playing poker online you should play and keep your ear out for any new information on the subject, or else avoid the game altogether because if you are so worried about the legality of online poker you won't really be able to enjoy playing the game.

Online Poker Beginnings Poker and gambling has been popular for years, however many states have outlawed the activity relegating die hard fans to travel to the likes of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or even the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina to play their beloved game. However, not everyone can afford to travel to one of these destinations to play poker, nor do individuals have the time to do so on a regular basis. So, what was the average person who loved poker supposed to do if his buddies couldn't play one Saturday night? Before online poker there were few options, now, no matter where you live you can play poker online to your hearts desire. You can play at night, in the morning, while eating lunch, or working as well. Online poker allows you to play your favorite game whenever and wherever you like!

At first, people thought this was an amazing idea, but they were also very cautious as well because the Internet was new, there was little understanding on how one could actually win money in an online poker game and then receive the money, there was mistrust, and simply confusion. But, the poker websites started offering security measures, large bonuses, and benefits for online players and little by little individuals started playing poker online.

The first players of online poker shared their success stories with friends and family members, as well as boasting about the security measures and the safety of playing online. This word of mouth advertising in addition to the advertising by the online poker sites really attracted new players and now in just a few short years online poker sites are some of the most popular sites on the web and there are people who play online poker every single day. If you had asked poker players 20 years ago what they thought of playing poker at home on a computer rather than in the casino you probably would have gotten some really strange looks and resounding negative responses. However, the age of the Internet has changed people and whether it is shopping, paying bills, or playing poker online the Internet is making everything easier and more accessible to the masses. Before, poker was a game of the wealthy who had the money to spend on a long vacation to a poker hot spot. Now, poker is a game of the every day man or woman that enjoys a hand of poker, but has neither the time nor the money to travel all over the country to play.

This huge growth in online poker is what has so many people worried about the legality of it and whether or not laws will be passed to regulate online pokers sites. While the future is unknown regarding online poker sites and whether they will be considered legal, illegal, or just another website remains to be seen, but until then simply log on to your favorite online gambling website and play to your hearts desire.

About The Author

Jeff Dragt is a writer for

This article was posted on November 12, 2005


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