While it is illegal in some states to operate online poker, it is perfectly legal in others. The key is to check the legal status of the website. If it isn’t regulated in a particular state, it’s not a good choice to play. However, some regulated operators only operate within a single state, so check to see if it’s regulated in your state before you sign up. Generally, US-based companies should be operating poker sites for US players. Big international brands also have to set up US companies to be legally accountable for their actions in the US.
Online poker has been popular in the US for several years, but its popularity faded dramatically after 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was signed into law. This law combined the 1961 Federal Wire Act to prohibit online gambling. While there are numerous interpretations of the law, it has effectively prohibited online gambling. However, players are not prosecuted for accessing these offshore poker sites. Therefore, US players can play poker legally in four states: California, Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.
While some states have prohibited gambling on their internet, Delaware became the first state to legalize online poker. Now, Delaware’s online poker sites are powered by 888poker software. Other states have also legalized online poker. In 2017, Delaware became the first state to legalize online gambling. Nevada and New Jersey followed suit. New Jersey’s gaming commission approved online poker sites in November, and the first WV poker sites opened their doors in April.