In the last year or so, many U.S. citizens have been asking if it’s legal to play poker on the Internet. This is a valid question because, not very long ago, …
In the last year or so, many U.S. citizens have been asking if it’s legal to play poker on the Internet. This is a valid question because, not very long ago, many online card rooms pulled out of the USA market. U.S.-based players logged in to these sites to find that they could not play for real money anymore. They could cash out their accounts, but they weren’t welcome to keep playing – and they definitely could not deposit more cash.
But a few sites, like Full Tilt Poker, dominoqq terpercaya, and Ultimate Bet, are still around – and they’re still taking USA poker-players. Is this legal? What are the consequences, if any? Is playing online a good idea, regardless of the legality?
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Act is a newer piece of legislation that focuses mostly on the card rooms and the financial institutions that transfer your money to and from the accounts. This Act is the reason why so many poker sites withdrew from the U.S. market. The administrators and owners were not entirely sure of what would happen when this legislation passed, so they went ahead and got out of the way. They expected the very worst, so they removed themselves from this market before the government began enforcing the new Act.
A few sites did not do this, though. They’re still in business and are taking on U.S. players. This is not very helpful, however, if you intend to do your business with a U.S.-based merchant. If you try to deposit money via your credit card, there is a good chance that the bank will decline your transaction. So even though you probably won’t get into legal trouble for playing poker for real money, you’re basically stuck because the bank can get into trouble for helping you out. If you can’t put money into your online account, you can’t play. The legislation doesn’t focus on you, but it’s stopping you anyway.
This is why the card rooms that are still open to USA players to accept non-U.S.-based transactions. Some non-U.S.-based merchants will still transfer money for you even if you’re playing in the United States. Our country can’t force another country’s company to comply with our regulations and laws, after all.
But not all merchants stuck around. Neteller, for example, is now closed to US residents. Before you sign up with any online payment or merchant site, read the terms and conditions to make sure that the administrators will accept your transaction. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time (and possibly your money).
doing away with online merchants altogether. Some poker sites will let you mail your check or money order to their headquarters. This takes some time, which is bad news for people who are ready to play right now. You have to wait for the payment to travel through the mail and clear the poker site’s bank. This can take a week, two weeks, or even longer.
All of this information is, however, subject to change. The United States could either rescind the Act that brought us to this point or enforce it. Either way, it’s up to each individual poker player to keep up with current news and developments – and to make his or her own decisions about them.
If you’re still nervous or unsure about trying to deposit money in an online poker account, you can always go with play money. The U.S. government could not care less about this type of poker because there is no actual cash involved. You’re playing for an account balance that you cannot redeem for anything.
Many poker players roll their eyes and ask, “What’s the point? It pretends money. Big deal.” If that’s how you feel about play money, you can enter freeroll tournaments. These do not require any entry fees or buy-ins (not even play money), but usually, award cash to top-placing players. (Some award other prizes, like site-branded gear or DVDs.) That cash goes into your account when you win. You can withdraw it, use part of it to buy into a real-money tournament, or leave that money in your account for the rest of your life. Whatever you want to do with your “free cash” is fine.
None of this, however, makes a valid argument for online poker if you live in a state with anti-poker legislation. If your home state has laws on the books that make it illegal for you to play, then you should not play. It’s your responsibility to research your state’s laws before you try to deposit money in an online account.