Are Poker Sites Legal in the US?

Online poker is one of the most popular forms of online gambling. It has gained popularity over the years and has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

However, the question of whether online poker sites are legal in the US is a complicated one. There are many factors to consider when determining the legality of online poker sites in the United States.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)

The UIGEA is a federal law that was passed in 2006. It prohibits financial institutions from processing transactions related to online gambling, including online poker sites.

This law makes it difficult for players to deposit and withdraw funds from their online poker accounts. However, it does not make playing on these sites illegal.

State Laws

Each state has its own laws regarding online gambling, including online poker. Some states have legalized and regulated online poker, while others have banned it outright. It is important to check your state’s laws before playing on an online poker site.

PRO TIP:In the United States, the legality of poker sites depends on where you are located. In some states, such as Nevada and New Jersey, online poker is legal and regulated. However, in other states, online poker is prohibited or not specifically addressed in state law. It is important to check your local laws before playing online poker to ensure that it is legal where you live.

  • Legal States: States that have legalized and regulated online poker include New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
  • Banned States: States that have banned all forms of online gambling include Washington, Utah and Hawaii.
  • Gray Area: Some states have not clearly defined their stance on online gambling. These states include California, Florida and Texas.

The Wire Act

The Wire Act is another federal law that was passed in 1961. It prohibits the use of wire communication facilities to transmit bets or wagers across state lines or international borders.

This law was originally intended to Target organized crime syndicates involved in illegal sports betting. However, it has been interpreted by some to apply to all forms of online gambling, including online poker.


So, are online poker sites legal in the US The answer is not a simple one.

It depends on the state you are in and the specific laws that apply. However, it is important to note that playing on these sites is not illegal under federal law. While there are risks involved with playing on unregulated sites, players can still enjoy legal and regulated online poker in several states.

It’s always recommended to do your own research and consult with a legal professional before engaging in any form of online gambling activity.