Is Online Poker Legal in the USA?
There has always been much controversy surrounding the notion of whether or not playing online poker is legal within the country of the United States. Many people are under the impression that playing poker online is illegal while others believe that it is perfectly safe and legal to play poker online. One of the reasons for this confusion is the difference between federal and state laws.
On the whole playing poker online is legal in the United States but there are certain states that exercise their own laws when it comes to online gambling and poker. Although the federal government of the United States does not categorise online gambling as a felony, certain states such as Washington D.C, Louisiana and Utah have their own separate state laws which do recognise online gambling as a felony.
It is wise for players residing within the U.S to research the online poker playing laws associated with their particular state. Although playing poker online is regarded as a criminal activity in certain states, no players have ever been arrested for playing poker online within these states. The states in which online poker playing has officially been legalised include Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
When Did Online Poker Become Legal?
In the United States, the state of Delaware was the very first state to initiate the legalisation of online poker playing. The state of Delaware passed this law on the 28th of June 2012.
The states of Nevada and New Jersey were soon to follow when they signed the bill and legalised online poker playing in the following year of 2013.
Online poker players residing within the United States are constantly keeping updated with online poker playing laws in order to know when it will be officially legalised in their state of residence.
In What Other Countries is Playing Online Poker Legal?
It is always good to know in which countries playing online poker is legal, especially if you are an online poker fan. The countries within Europe in which online poker playing is legal includes Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, Belgium Hungary, Italy, Holland, Russia, Malta, Denmark, Poland and Gibraltar.
Playing poker online is also legal within Australia and New Zealand, however, only poker platforms operating out of New Zealand are considered legal and poker websites from outside of the country are considered illegal. Therefore, players residing within New Zealand should only play online poker at New Zealand based sites.
Within Asia, online poker playing is legal in Japan, the Philippines and Kazakhstan. Countries such as China, Singapore and Thailand have varying laws when it comes to online poker. On the African continent playing poker online is legal in South Africa, Kenya as well as Mauritius. Only a minority of the countries in South America have legalised online poker playing and these include Peru, Panama and Argentina.
Legality of Playing Bridge Online in the US
Although playing bridge online could be considered a form of gambling, it is also recognised as a skill-based game and rarely, if ever, involves cash payouts. Therefore the same strict regulations that apply to other online casino games do not always apply when it comes to playing bridge.
There are also certain organizations that are eagerly pushing for the official legalisation of online bridge around the world as well as getting it recognised as an Olympic sport. Playing bridge online is considered legal by the federal government of the United States although each state may have their own laws and this should be investigated. The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) is the best place to start your search.