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Legal Poker Sites

Legal Online Poker Options from Around The World

The legality of online poker is a debate that has been clouded by misinformation from the mainstream media for many years. There are a patchwork of laws and licensing jurisdictions around the world controlling gambling online. There is also a degree of separation between a poker site being allowed to operate within a country, and players from that country being allowed to play.

Legality questions most often come from US based players. While there is no Federal law preventing players enjoying real-money poker games – the US does not license or allow sites to operate outside of 3 regulated states. This means that players can enjoy games at offshore poker sites, with many legally operating from Caribbean islands or countries in Central America.

Elsewhere there is a mix of international licenses, and local ones. An increasing number of governments are introducing licensing and regulation (usually as a way to increase their tax revenue). Some countries, for example France, Spain and Italy, have separated their players as part of their own licensing rules.

Legal Poker Sites Around the World

Canadian players can legally enjoy online poker – as long as the sites themselves are not located within Canada. This gives a wide choice of the biggest international brands, including PokerStars, Party Poker, Bwin and 888. Canadian banks sometimes restrict deposits to poker sites (a spill-over from the US), though there are plenty of alternative deposit options available.

UK based players have the widest choice of almost any country. The UK gambling commission now requires licenses for poker site operators. All the major international sites have these licenses, usually in addition to their global licenses – which are awarded in jurisdictions including Malta, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.

Australian and New Zealand based players can also enjoy games from the major international operators. The laws in both countries stop poker sites based there from offering games, though do not make it illegal for players to enjoy the games offered in outside jurisdictions. South Africa has taken a different stance. While online poker is expressly illegal there, many players from this country still enjoy the real money games.

About Legal Poker Sites

The definition of “legal poker sites” varies from one jurisdiction to the next. Unfortunately, every country in the world has its own take on the legality of online poker. USA players have a particularly interesting time because online poker resides in a legal grey area in the States.

We always recommend that our visitors do their own homework when it comes to assessing the legality of online poker. Having said that, we can tell you that there are no federal laws that make it a crime to play online poker. You can’t run your own poker site, but there’s nothing stopping you from being a customer.

To date, no poker player in the United States has been charged or convicted by the Federal government for playing online poker. It’s ridiculous, in our opinion, that the government has even attempted to control online poker to the extent it has. If they start trying to dictate how people spend their money, there’s going to be a backlash.

The good news is that we don’t have to worry about any of that right now. As a humble poker player, feel free to get out there and make some money. The legal poker sites listed on this page all accept players from the USA and everywhere else. Check out any of these legal poker sites to get started today

State Regulated Online Poker

Residents of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey can enjoy online poker at smaller sites which are regulated by these states. You can only play at these legal poker sites if you are physically within the state borders. Nevada and Delaware have an agreement to share player pools between their state-run rooms. Other states, including Pennsylvania and California are thought to be candidates to introduce their own in-state poker sites at some point in the near future.

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