US Online Poker Rooms Are Alive And Well

Not so long ago, it was not difficult for someone from the United States to go to his or her computer and find an entire list of legal US online poker rooms from which to choose. Back in 2006, though, legislation was passed, called the UIGEA, which made it difficult for these venues to process financial transactions with their customers. Since then, though their numbers have dwindled somewhat, it is still possible to find a few sites that allow such real-money gambling.

What Exactly is Illegal?

Since the Black Friday of Poker, many people have truly believed that they could be prosecuted for making deposits in US online poker rooms due to those legislations passed in 2006. However, this is absolutely not the case. Since those laws were passed, not a single person in this country has ever been charged for spending his or her money in those establishments. For the most part, the laws only affect the gambling venues and the companies that provide financial service - never the individual player.

The 2011 Shakedown

After the passing of the UIGEA in 2006, some of the major offshore corporations continued to offer US online poker rooms due in part to the sheer amount of profit that they were able to generate. However, in 2011, the US Department of Justice indicted the heads of the two largest websites for wire fraud and money laundering. Essentially, though they were still catering to Americans, they had found a way to get the financial transactions through without going through major banks or credit card companies directly. This led to the direct shutdown of several giants and the date will forever be known as the Black Friday of Poker.

Making a Comeback

Fortunately, it can be said that there are a few individual states who have decided to start allowing such practices once again, though these are heavily restricted. At the time of writing, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada all host sites in which people could spend real money on just about any variant they enjoyed. In order to access them, though, people have to actually live in those states. It can also be said with certainty that the industry is absolutely flourishing in these states as they are bringing in millions of dollars in the form of taxes and fees that are being put back into schools, parks and other public forums.

Whether the practice is ever legalized in the USA as a whole again remains to be seen, but it is hoped that the actions of these individual states - and perhaps the actions of a few more who are looking to open similar websites - will spur the interest of the lawmakers. There are literally billions of dollars in taxes waiting to be collected and there is absolutely no doubt that the public would be happy to pay those fees as long as they were guaranteed fairness and security in their transactions.