Legal Poker Sites

The operation of an online poker site is effectively stifled in the United States at the federal level under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. This Act was the cause for some of the top poker sites in the United States to be shut down back in 2011, on a day known in the industry as Black Friday.

Having said that, there are some legal options that U.S. players can use to play online poker. This is done by having the player sign up for an account at an offshore site that accepts American players. These legal betting sites do not set up their operation in the United States, and as a result, are acceptable poker rooms for U.S. players to use.

How is this possible? Well, the UIGEA aims to stop the monetary transaction for a bet or wager made from the player to the gambling site (and vice versa). What it does not ban, however, is the act of playing online poker. As a result, an American player is able to visit any of these offshore sites and sign up to play online poker, and it’s all 100% legal.

Are Poker Sites Legal In The U.S.?

The operation of an online poker site is banned in the United States at the federal level under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. This Act was the cause for some of the top poker sites in the United States to be shut down.

Having said that, there are some legal options that U.S. players can use to play online poker. This is done by having the player sign up for an account at an offshore site that accepts American players. These sites do not set up their operation in the United States, and as a result, are acceptable poker rooms for U.S. players to use. How is this possible? Well, the UIGEA aims to stop the monetary transaction for a bet or wager made from the player to the gambling site. What it does not ban however, is the act of playing online poker. As a result, a player is able to visit any of these offshore sites and sign up to play online poker.

Legal Age To Play Online Poker For Real Money Or Fun

There are two ages that players in the United States need to pay attention to when signing up at an online poker site. The first is obviously the age requirement that is at the site itself. This can be found either in the terms of use, or under the rules and regulations section of the site. In most cases, the age is 18 years old; however it's not always consistent.

The second age that is important for USA players to be aware of is the legal gambling age in their state. This could be very important, because although they might meet the site requirement of 18, if the age is 21 in their state then they must meet that. The legal gambling age in the U.S. is decided at the state level, so it does vary. In some states it’s 18, while in others it’s 21. And oddly, in Alabama, it’s 19.

Recommended Poker Sites That Are Legal

As avid online poker players, there are a number of different sites that we have checked out, reviewed, and played ourselves. And when it comes to choosing a top quality Internet poker room, American players have a bunch of different choices. Below are two poker sites that excel in important areas across the board for running a good operation.

BetOnline - Players From All 50 States Accepted

No matter what type of poker is your favorite, BetOnline’s vast poker room is sure to meet the need. This poker site offers their players more choices of games than any other online poker site we've come across. This is a great legal poker room for USA players, with the site requiring users to be just 18 in order to sign up and gamble. American players that meet this requirement are 100% free and clear to sign up for a new account.

Once a BetOnline account has been created, players can deposit with a Visa card, money order, or a cashier's check. Lately, of course, Bitcoin has become the easiest and most common way to fund online gambling accounts, and BetOnline accepts this and other cryptocurrencies as well. BetOnlin really goes out of its way to make it as easy as possible for the player to deposit into their account, and they have the industry’s most varied deposit and withdrawal options.

If players are interested in learning about a new type of poker game, BetOnline offers tutorials and lessons on how to play, so that when you go into that room to play for real money, you can feel confident and win some cash! New BetOnline poker players can choose from a selection of specific poker bonuses, with their 100% deposit match bonus (up to $1000) being the most popular. New members can also get a $10,000 free-roll, which is a monthly promotion for first-time customers.

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Online Poker Laws In The United States

Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, 2006

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) was mentioned briefly up above in regards to how it affects online poker in the U.S. As an attachment to the Safe Port Act, the UIGEA passed with little conflict on Capitol Hill. Basically, the UIGEA bans US financial institutions (i.e. banks and credit unions) from knowingly processing a payment for a bet or wager made. With a gambling site unable to process US-based payments, then there is no way that they can operate legally as a gambling business. That’s the theory, anyway.

In practice, of course, the reality is quite the opposite. As long as the poker site in question is based overseas – and as long as banks aren’t knowingly processing gambling-related payments – you can easily fund your account. And if a card or check is declined, you can simply cut out the middleman altogether by using Bitcoin or a supported altcoin (Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH, Cardano, Stellar, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, etc.).

Funding Methods At Legal Poker Sites

The funding methods at legal poker sites for USA players keep the customer base in mind. Online cashiers know that US players have special banking requirements and therefore only offer the most reliable and secure deposit methods. You will be able to get cash into your account quickly so that you can play real money poker and start to increase your bankroll. While US-friendly poker sites will have different deposit limits, you can use any of the deposit methods below to fund your online poker account:

Credit Cards – Credit cards are the most popular deposit method because we already use plastic for many of our everyday purchases. You just enter in your card information and your funds are automatically applied to your account. Online poker rooms do not always charge a fee, but if the site or your card issuer does apply charges they are typically less than 7%.

Bitcoin – Bitcoin is a reliable deposit option that more legal betting sites are promoting every day. Bitcoin is a digital currency that is extremely fast and secure, making it one of the best options for USA poker players. Your transaction will never get declined and there are also no fees for making bitcoin deposits at legal poker sites.

Bank Wire Transfer – Bank wires are excellent for high rollers because there is no limit to the amount that can be deposited. No other banking method allows you send as much money in a single transaction. Your bank will charge a transfer fee that is dependent upon the amount transferred. Most bank wires are completed within 3 business days.

Legal Poker Sites FAQ

Who Do I Contact If I Have A Question Or Problem?

Legal poker sites for USA players have several customer service options to choose from. You can call and speak with a representative or send a quick email. Most legal betting sites also have a live chat option where you are connected with an agent via a chat room. Quality customer service is always important, and that is why the sites that we recommend have representatives available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Can I Play Poker With Other Players For Real Money?

Playing poker for real money against other players is what makes online poker rooms so exciting. You can play with players from all over the world with varying levels of expertise. Choose your tournament or challenge and play for huge cash prizes and bonuses. There are Sit ‘n Go tables, bounty tournaments, and jackpots where you can win over $100,000! USA players can play poker for real money at any of the legit poker sites that we have mentioned.

How do I transfer funds from sports to poker account?

Moving your money from sports to poker is quite simple at legal poker sites for USA players, as these typically operate huge sportsbooks in addition to their poker products. Just log into the poker client, and you should see options that say “Transfer to Sports” and “Transfer from Sports”. This will most likely be in the Cashier section of your site of choice. However, it depends on the online poker site that you use. Regardless, once you’ve found the correct page with the above options, simply enter in the amount that you would like to transfer, and your balance will be updated instantly upon refreshing.

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