Online poker has been a controversial topic in America for quite some time. Over the years, US poker laws have changed significantly, and we are seeing more and more states aiming to legalize online poker for their residents to enjoy.
There are just four states where online poker is currently legal, but we could see more taking the leap this year. It is a very lucrative market for the individual states, while providing players with a safe place to engage in exciting online poker games.
Benefits of Online Poker Legislation
Online poker presents state governments with the chance to rake in some impressive profits. In 2017, online poker sites in New Jersey generated over $100 million in tax revenue – a portion of which goes to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). This organization has funded plenty of great community projects, so the whole state benefits from the change in US poker laws.
Additionally, legalizing online poker offers plenty of great benefits to players. Legal or not, avid poker fans would find a way to play poker online regardless, so when it’s legalized, a safe place to play is provided. Players don’t have to seek out unregulated, offshore sites; they can play in licensed online poker rooms that adhere to strict player protection measures.
Where is Online Poker Legal Now?
As of now, there are only four states where online poker is legal: New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Delaware. It took plenty of fighting to have each state’s government agree to legalizing online poker, but players in these areas can now play cards online with other local players.
In fact, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have even joined a tri-state poker network. This means that players in all three states are able to play against one another, making for a larger pool of players and even bigger prize pools.
Where Will Online Poker Be Legalized Next?
Many states are now looking into online poker legalization. Several states have considered the option over the past few years and, after witnessing Pennsylvania’s success last year, they are jumping into action.
The state has recently seen a major gambling expansion with the opening of four new casinos in the past five years. Now that these land-based venues are open to the public, online poker may be the next step. Public discussions have even indicated that legislators are will be working on laws to make online casino games legal, helping to generate more income for the new land-based venues.
For years, California legislators worked hard to legalize online casino games and online poker but shelved the idea after several delays. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer continues to champion the cause and hopes to reintroduce a legalization that would allow players to play online poker and wager on sports online.
Many states are eager to legalize online poker, but they still face plenty of pushback from anti-gambling campaigners. However, they have set their wheels in motion, so we could see at least a couple of states regulate and legalize online poker sites.