is online poker legal

Long before sports betting and online casinos took over, online poker was the online gambling product everyone wanted to legalize in the US. That dream has yet to come true, but despite paltry revenues in comparison to those of other regulated gaming products, the landscape is finally starting to shift in favor of poker.

The first big setback came in 2006, when Congress passed the UIGEA and forced a number of major poker sites out of the US market. That didn’t kill the industry, however, as players found ways to continue playing through offshore operators that accepted US players — a trend that continues today.

In the years since, a handful of states have made the decision to legalize and regulate online poker. Pennsylvania and Michigan both launched their regulated markets in early 2021, while New Jersey has dominated the sector since its launch in 2013.

Other states have considered legalizing online poker in the past, but they were unable to get over political hurdles or disputes with existing gambling industries. Sheldon Adelson’s efforts to ban the game in the US helped stifle momentum until he decided to back off in 2017. A series of legal rulings meanwhile have given renewed impetus to poker’s advocates, and some are now optimistic that 2022 or 2024 will see the first wave of state-regulated poker rooms go live in the US.

New Hampshire, for example, has a strong interest in becoming the next big hub for regulated online poker in the US. The Granite State has a lot in common with New Jersey, including its large population and proximity to other regulated states that share a player pool.

West Virginia is another state that’s been eager to bring online poker into the fold, and it will likely do so soon. The Mountain State already has a regulated casino and sportsbook scene in place, so adding poker shouldn’t be a huge challenge. However, there’s a potential issue with the Wire Act that could delay the rollout for a while.

For those interested in keeping up with developments as they happen, we here at pokerfuse are going to keep our finger on the pulse and cover all the latest news. Whether it’s the latest developments in regulated poker, or states that are most likely to make the jump to real money gaming soon, we’ll be there to provide you with all the information you need. Just remember to play responsibly and never fund an account with money you can’t afford to lose.