Online poker has had a rocky ride since its inception in the late 1990s, but in recent years the game has made some huge strides. Many states have legalized it and players can play in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, and West Virginia. More states are expected to join this list as legislative moves get underway.
The answer to this question depends largely on state law, which can be extremely volatile. It’s not hard to imagine that this entire subject could change dramatically if a court were to overturn the DOJ’s current interpretation of the Wire Act, which effectively bans any kind of online gambling in the United States. In the meantime, players should be wary of offshore sites that offer poker. These sites operate without any basic consumer safeguards and are often subject to abrupt closure at any time. Licensed, regulated sites will display a license number on their website and comply with all state laws.
In addition to protecting player privacy, reputable online poker sites employ digital device fingerprinting to recognize and block repeat offenders that have been blocked or restricted from a site before. Additionally, players who create multiple accounts to circumvent account restrictions or bans will be blocked from playing on any site. This helps ensure the integrity of the game and a safe, fair environment for all players.
While New York isn’t one of the states that currently has legal online poker, the state would be a major player if it did pass legislation and join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA). The Empire State has a population of nearly 20 million, more than any other state with an operational iGaming site.
New Hampshire lawmakers have been dragging their heels when it comes to passing an iGaming bill. They’re more interested in sports betting at this point, but there’s always the possibility that a change in political climate could spur them into action.
Indiana doesn’t have legalized or regulated online poker at this point, but the state has a big poker fan base. Live poker has been thriving in the Hoosier State for decades and it would be a great boost to the economy if online poker were to make its way there.