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On April 15th, 2011 the online world was shaken up amongst allegations and indictments against US poker sites. With the future of American online poker up in the air it will only be a matter of time until players, lawmakers, and poker sites are looking for different ways to regulate and license the game. One idea gaining a lot of momentum is interstate and intrastate online poker regulation. Instead of the game being nationally regulated it would be up to each individual state to either opt-in into legislation or have their own in state internet poker with just their own residents. There is nothing certain right now but it will be interesting to see how USA state poker rooms develop over the next year.

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Talks of state regulated online poker first arose in 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act was passed as an attachment to the Safe Port Bill. At the time it seemed likely online poker USA was coming to an end forcing states in support of the game to create their own legislation. Ultimately this never came to fruition as internet poker rooms found ways to circumvent the UIGEA over the past five years. However, these creative means of processing payments and withdrawals eventually caught up with the sites leaving us where we are today. Click on your state below to see legal updates and to find which online poker rooms are available for you to play!

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Delaware Maryland New Hampshire New Jersey Massachusetts Connecticut West Virginia Vermont Rhode Island Washington DC Map of USA with state names.svg


There are those who are both for and against state online poker. The proponents of intrastate legislation feel the games will be much safer with all transactions taking place on American soil. Those wondering if the UIGEA applies here should rest assured it does not as long as the transactions take place entirely with in the given state. The opponents of this type of legislation feel the games will become much more difficult and sites could potentially create monopolies in the smaller states. This is because the player bases will be much smaller making multiple online poker rooms a thing of the past. With just one room serving the entire state the lack of competition could hurt players in terms of customer service, VIP bonuses, rakeback, and other benefits/promotions card rooms used in the past to attract new customers.

Some of the first few states attempting to pass state internet poker legislation included Florida, Nevada, Iowa, New Jersey, and even Washington, D.C. In March 2011 it appeared New Jersey was on the brink of passing before it was abruptly stopped on Governor Chris Christie’s desk. The feeling amongst most lawmakers in the state is the bill could be a great boost to a struggling gaming economy, one that had been supporting the state for years. The bill fell through and as of now has not been resurrected. All eyes are now on the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) which earlier this year passed budget plans to implement an online poker room. After a 30-day window passed with out objection the D.C. lawmakers now have the ability to provide online poker. They are not out of the clear just yet but all signs point to Washington, D.C. being the first to provide state online poker in the USA. While their player pool will be small it can only been seen as a great sign for the future of poker with the capital of the country leading the way.

It could be a long time before state regulation of online poker. Not only do these bills have to pass through multiple channels but the subsequent setting up of new online poker sites completely unattached to current rooms like PokerStars and Full Tilt cannot happen overnight. In intrastate regulation these US Poker Sites will be completely removed and new poker rooms formed. While state online poker certainly has some flaws it is clearly better than no poker at all. It will be interesting to see how many states eventually opt for regulated poker if there is no agreement made on the national level.

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