Several online poker companies and executives have been charged with violating gambling laws and money laundering laws after defrauding players of hundreds of millions of dollars. Several indictments were unsealed on the same day and named multiple online poker operators and company executives as defendants. In addition to the indictments against FullTilt, multiple payment processors were also implicated.
Legality of online poker in the U.S.
Whether online poker is legal in the U.S is a matter of debate. While the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is a federal law, states can regulate online poker sites. As long as the online gambling operators adhere to the law, they can offer poker to US players.
The UIGEA was passed into law in 2006 and was aimed at the money flow that fuelled online poker. It made it illegal for American banks to process payments for offshore online gambling sites. This resulted in many companies withdrawing from the market. However, several leading companies continued to operate. In addition, the Department of Justice began taking action against online poker players.
Legality of online poker in New Jersey
Online poker in New Jersey is legal, as long as you are physically present in the state. Earlier this year, the state soft-launched online poker in New Jersey, and within days, all residents of the state were able to play. At the moment, there are four poker networks in New Jersey, and players can play any Atlantic City-approved game. To play at these sites, you must be at least 18 years old and reside in New Jersey.
The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) regulates online poker in New Jersey. In addition to making sure that all games and player information are safe and secure, NJDGE also conducts tests to ensure that the games are fair. Also, players can expect to have their winnings taxed federally and state-mandated by law.
Legality of online poker in California
Online poker is not yet legal in California, but several bills have been introduced over the years. While none of these have passed, they’ve gone through the same cycle of introduction, committee vote, and repeat. The state already gets billions from brick-and-mortar gaming, and online gaming could provide a large part of that revenue stream.
However, even if the state passed legislation to legalize online poker, there are other states in which the industry operates. For instance, in Pennsylvania, PokerStars partners with the Mount Airy Casino. Other casinos, including Commerce, Bay 101, and Ocean’s Eleven, have hosted WSOP Circuit and WPT events.
Legality of online poker in Nevada
Legal online poker in Nevada has many advantages over offshore sites. Nevada poker sites are as safe as casinos and have strict regulations that help keep player funds and personal information secure. For example, Nevada poker sites require players to be located in the state and have their identity verified by uploading a valid form of ID.
Despite the fact that Nevada is clearly a pro-gambling state, private gambling activities have a negative effect on Nevada’s economy. In addition, the offshore poker sites do not pay any taxes to Nevada’s state coffers, as they only collect rake from players. This lack of tax revenue is at the heart of the various legislations aimed at online gaming.