Finding gambling sites is quickly becoming the go-to indulgence option for casino and sports betting fans worldwide. And players in the US are no different. Unfortunately, depending on where you reside in North America, your online options might be limited. That’s especially if you’re a poker fan.
Legislation targeting gambling sites has made it difficult for players in various states to indulge in locally regulated options. That’s especially after the events of April 15th, 2011, commonly referred to as Black Friday. It marks the day several legitimate sites serving players in the region were shut down. This was in line with the terms indicated in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), passed in 2006 under unclear circumstances.
The battle to get lawmakers and other stakeholders to favor online poker fans’ needs after Black Friday has been ongoing for several years. And that’s what led to the ruling expecting every North American state to decide how to proceed with the necessary laws. As a gambling fan, you’re probably aware that you can now find legit NJ real money poker sites in 2022. But this is just one of the few states lucky enough to have managed to get laws approved so their residents can enjoy these gambling sites.
North American States That Have Legalized Poker Sites
If you don’t reside in New Jersey, that doesn’t mean you can’t play locally regulated poker online. Several other states have agreed to the necessary laws, making it easy for their members to access sites run by local operators. Though these areas aren’t as many as the states that have already agreed to have online sports betting and casino gaming, it’s a good start. Here’s a list of all the North American regions where you can access poker sites.
This was the first state to offer online poker in February 2013 after the passing of House Bill AB 114. Some of the first sites to offer games to players in Nevada were WSOP, Ultimate Poker, and Real Gaming (by South Point).
Delaware followed Nevada’s example, legalizing online casino games and poker in June 2013. It then started offering these gaming options through the 888 network. Additionally, in 2015, it partnered with Nevada’s operators to create an interstate network between the two regions.
3. New Jersey
NJ will always be known as being the first state to push for online gambling legislation back in 2011. But, its residents had to wait till 2013 to find legal online poker and casino gaming options from local operators. Presently, you can play on sites like Pala Poker, 888 Poker, and PartyPoker, among others.
2017 is the year Governor Tom Wolf signed the state’s comprehensive gambling expansion package into law. That enabled residents to access both poker and casino games online. But the casino operators were the first to make license applications which were approved by mid-2019. Poker applications started coming in later, getting approved towards the end of the same year.
5. West Virginia
Lawmakers in West Virginia approved the necessary online gambling laws in early 2019. These enable online casino, sports betting, and poker offerings to be offered locally. Unfortunately, only the first two options are currently available. There haven’t been any license applications from operators willing to supply residents with these games locally. But residents remain hopeful that these will soon be available.
Former State Senator Mike Kowall started fighting for residents to get legal online gambling options back in 2017. He was joined by State Representative Brandt Iden who helped him pass the Lawful Internet Gaming Act in the House and Senate. But it was only in late 2019 that online gambling options got signed into law. That’s after more lawmakers stepped in to push the cause upon the retirement of former Governor Rick Snyder, who had vetoed the act in late 2018.
It’s believed the state will start offering online poker sometime in 2022.
For this state, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes were among the stakeholders in the way of online gambling approval. That’s because they manage Connecticut’s largest casino gaming halls. Once they approved online casino and poker options, Gov. Ned Lamont signed the tabled bill into law in mid-2021. So residents are now waiting for operators to apply for licenses.
What’s In Store For Other US Regions?
Players not in the seven states still have online poker options available to them as they wait for their legislators to create the necessary gambling laws. Instead of waiting, they can play on offshore platforms. These are run by overseas operators who aren’t explicitly banned from offering these gambling options to players in the US.
But to play on these sites, ensure you make your choice carefully. Check details like the licensing bodies, the available gaming assortment and software providers, as well as if the platform is secure. Once you find a reputable casino accepting players from the region, sign up and start enjoying perks like:
- Transactions in USD or cryptos
- 24/7 gaming
- A wide variety of poker releases (live and virtual titles)
- Frequent guaranteed tournaments
- Generous bonuses