Monday, August 11, 2008

Is Online Poker illegal in USA?

There is a lot of dispute as to the status of online gambling in the US. In fact the law change in 2006 in many ways did more to muddy to waters rather than clear things up.

The law was an eleventh hour addition to an unrelated port security act. Ultra conservative Bill Frist added the anti-gambling measure after proclaiming that gambling was a attack on American families and hurt society. Ironically, and perhaps due to some bribery the anti-gambling bill completely legalized online horse betting. Americans can now bet horse races online completely legally in most states. In inconsistency that has seen America losing legal battles internationally involving out breach of contract with the WTO.

But anyway, the law change does not make it illegal for Americans to play poker online. What it does is make it harder for Americans to send and receive money to online gambling sites (unless it is given special treatment like the horse racing industry). So other than a slight inconvenience with the money transfer, the bill does nothing to outlaw the act of playing online. Although a handful of states have passed laws making it technically illegal to gamble online.

Thanks to this illegal change to the law, America has been successfully sued by some small countries that rely on gambling for an income. And also some companies have banned American players, because they don't want the hassle.

Anyway, I've found you a decent overview of the law to read in the link. With any luck once this useless administration is booted out of office, the law will be updated to reflect the fact that Americans want to play poker online and in a free country there should be no laws preventing it. or attempting to.