The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive increase in traffic to online poker sites. The disease has forced the closure of many live gaming venues worldwide, including unlicensed establishments, leaving the public with few options for live entertainment. Casual players have been turning to online poker as an alternative, and many operators reported double or triple the traffic of the previous year. Clearly, this is a good thing. However, players should still be aware of the risks associated with playing poker online.
There are many states that have legalized online poker, but only a few are US-friendly. For example, some of the best poker sites for Americans may only be compatible with Windows. However, the vast majority of sites will work on Macs, iOS, and Android devices. In addition to this, there is a lot of data generated from online poker in the United States. Fortunately, this data can be broken down by state. Below are a few tips for finding legal US poker sites.
If you live in the US, you may wonder what state is next on the list. New Jersey legalized online poker in April 2017. Pennsylvania followed in November 2013. Currently, three US states have legalized online poker. Several others have pending legislation on online gambling. However, a number of offshore operators still allow US players to play at their sites. The DOJ memorandum that reverses the 2011 Wire Act decision will likely affect online gambling operations in those states.
The US Senate realized that online poker was widely available in the US. It attempted to pass the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. Fortunately, it didn’t pass. New sites were created and online poker software improved. Eventually, a decision was reached that said sports betting and online poker was not illegal under the Federal Wire Act. However, the Department of Justice disagreed and the RAWA bills are still in the federal court system.
The WSOP network stretches across three states: New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Michigan and Pennsylvania will join them in 2021. The WSOP/888 US network is the only online poker site operating in all three states, making it the largest US online poker site by traffic. If the WSOP/888 US site does launch in your state, you can bet that it will continue to grow. However, the multi-state alliance may not last forever, so there are many other states with similar regulations.
Today, more than half of the US has legalized online poker. Delaware is the smallest state with legalized online poker. It has a liquidity-sharing agreement with Nevada, and the three Delaware casinos operate branded skins on the 888 Poker network. In March 2019, West Virginia became the fifth US state to legalize online poker. Its law also includes provisions allowing casino-style online gambling. Additionally, sports betting was already legal in the state when the law was passed.