Online gambling is nothing new but there have been some fairly new measures lawmakers have been making to keep US based players out of the action. Despite the fact that online gambling is openly available to players in nations like the UK and Belgium, there are only extremely limited circumstances in which US poker online is allowed. Whether you enjoy playing poker casually for fun or you’re a high stakes fan who dreams of making poker playing your full-time job, there are some of the ways that players in the US can place bets online.
Relocate to New Jersey
As of right now, New Jersey is the only US state that allows residents to gamble online. Unfortunately, living in New Jersey doesn’t give gamblers an unrestricted free pass to place bets wherever they want. Online New Jersey-based casinos that maintain websites are legally permitted to be accessed by local poker players. Another way to partake in online gambling if you are a New Jersey resident is to find websites that are not based in the US. In other words, New Jersey residents may be able to gamble at New Jersey based casino websites, but they could get into trouble if they tried to utilize a website that is being maintained in the state of Nevada. Avoid taking unnecessary gambles that could get you into trouble with your credit card company or even the law by seeking out offshore gambling websites.
Gamblers in California Have More Freedom
If you reside in the sunshine state, you only have to fit two requirements if you want to play poker online. First, you need to be 21 years of age or older to legally participate in online gambling if you are a California resident. Second, you need to have access to a bank account or credit card that can be used online. It doesn’t matter what website you use or what game you want to play. By simply being over the age of 21 and having an internet accessible credit card or bank account, you can play poker online as often as you want.
Play Poker Online While in Nevada
Many of the world’s most iconic casinos are located in Las Vegas, Nevada. There, you can walk down the strip, put some money in the slots and potentially hit a huge jackpot. Fortunately, there are ways that you can also enjoy online gambling legally if you reside in Nevada as well. All online gambling in Nevada, and in particular poker, is tightly regulated by the state. There are tentative plans to allow outside casinos and gambling websites to service Nevada residents, but in the interim, there are plenty of ways that people living in this state can gamble in a safe manner.
Establishing a Foreign Business Entity
For gamblers that don’t live in any of the three states listed above, there are still ways to legally play poker online. People living in the US are permitted to set up companies nearly anywhere in the world. This means that you can establish a foreign LLC that is located in another country, then use that business to gamble online without breaking any laws. You should consult with both a lawyer and a certified accountant prior to establishing any kind of foreign company, but you won’t be breaking the law so long as you don’t try to establish your own gambling website to take bets with.
Play Poker for Fun and Prizes
There are lots of recreational websites that employ poker and other casino games. Though you won’t be able to deposit or wager money, there can be great prizes up for grabs. If you win any type of prize online, you are free to convert it into cash. Just make sure that you let the IRS know about all money that you have earned each year and you can play poker online in the US legally.
The Gray Areas Associated with Online Gambling In The US
If you live anywhere besides, California, New Jersey or Nevada, you are technically not allowed to play casino games online for money. What this truly means is that all online gambling done by US citizens outside of permitted jurisdictions is done so at some type of risk. You could get your credit cards closed if the issuer finds that you are participating in gambling online. Your bank accounts could also be frozen, and the US government could formally take action against you. However, all laws in the US designed to prevent online gambling are focused on betting websites rather than players. To avoid getting into trouble, you should never place a bet on someone else’s behalf and you don’t ever want to wager money that you can afford to lose.
Online Gambling Safety
Since gambling websites realize that US players have restrictions, some may have less incentive to pay out jackpots or complete bank account transfers to members residing in the United States. If you are a US resident and you decide to gamble online, you should only go to websites that you are certain have a good history. There are many established online betting websites that have live customer service departments and work diligently to resolve all issues. What you don’t want to do is gamble with a fly by night company that isn’t well known.
Approach online gambling as you would in the real world to stay completely safe. Licensed casinos have security, have tight regulations, and are guaranteed to pay out all winning bets. By contrast, illegal gambling facilities can have fixed odds and they aren’t exactly known for being terribly ethical. If you are lucky and happen to live in an area of the US where online poker playing is loosely regulated, you can go to any reputable casino website in nations where it is 100% legal. The rules on online gambling in the US might change for the better soon, but in the meantime, you need to be smart about where you make your wagers and think before you start depositing money online at an internet based gambling website.