Online poker is a fun and exciting game that can be played from the comfort of your home. Players can play for a fraction of the cost of going to a live casino and can win real money. It is also a game that rewards actual skill unlike slots or the lottery.
The games on offer at online poker sites are just as varied as those found in Las Vegas casinos, with cash games and tournaments available. Some of the biggest sites, such as Ignition, have a large selection of both live and online tournaments with huge prize pools. They are perfect for players who want to try their hand at some high-stakes poker action.
There was a time when the contrast between live poker players and online poker players was stark. Live players would talk about the “disease” of online poker and complain that it was not a legitimate form of the game. However, these days there is much more overlap between the two groups and many top players, both recreational and professional, play both online and live poker.
With regulated online gambling starting to take hold in the United States, the future looks brighter than ever for a market that once seemed hopelessly shackled by federal legislation. In 2012, the first states passed online poker laws and began regulating the industry. But with the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in place and a number of investigations against payment processors, it was difficult for US players to fund their accounts or get access to reputable sites.
Ultimately, this led to the demise of major sites like Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. While the UIGEA was still in effect, many players began looking elsewhere to fund their accounts and play poker online. This ultimately led to Black Friday, the day that saw a number of executive at these poker sites indicted by the Department of Justice for illegal activities, including money laundering and fraud.
This setback lasted for quite some time as the legal battles continued on multiple fronts. However, things started to look up in 2019 when Pennsylvania became the fourth state to pass laws allowing it to regulate online poker. This was followed in 2021 by Michigan becoming the first state to offer regulated online poker, although virtual hands have yet to be dealt there.
California is the next state on the horizon and is expected to pass its own laws governing regulated online poker. Once that happens, it will be able to join the MSIGA and combine its player pool with other states that have already joined the compact. It is still unclear what impact this will have on the industry as a whole, but at least it appears that the tide is turning towards a fully regulated and interstate poker market in the United States. That would be great news for the millions of poker players who have a passion for this wonderful game!