Online poker has been around for quite some time now, but it was only in the last couple of years that it became legal in the United States. Before the enactment of the UIGEA, online poker was only available at sites that were physically located within the states of Nevada and Delaware. However, after Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 victory, the market for unregulated poker grew by leaps and bounds.
The first online poker site to actually offer real money games was Planet Poker in 1998. It was the first to do so in the US. In the late 1990s, IRC poker also made its debut on the internet. Now, you can download a variety of poker software packages to play online for free or with real cash.
Although the benefits of playing online poker may not be immediately apparent, it does have some major advantages over live poker. For example, it allows you to play more tables at a time than you would at a traditional casino. You can also participate in more tournaments. And, unlike live poker, you do not have to wait weeks for your money to clear.
Aside from the obvious reason to play online poker, one should be aware of the legalities of doing so. Online poker is regulated by state level laws. If you reside in a state that does not regulate online poker, you can still play online, but you are likely to have to pay a heavy tax on your winnings. Additionally, you may find yourself in the position of being banned from your favorite site if you violate any rules.
One of the largest challenges in regulating the industry is the lack of proper legislation. As the industry continues to grow, it is difficult to know how to best regulate it. Some legislators have already taken a stance on online poker while others have yet to come to terms with it.
Another challenge in figuring out which states will be the best to regulate online poker is the question of how to share player traffic with the rest of the country. In order to do so, there would need to be special agreements signed between the various jurisdictions. This would involve a lot of work on the part of the poker sites and their operators. Also, it would be a significant financial undertaking for companies to enter the market.
The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of legalizing interstate online poker, but the law is still unclear in many states. That said, a few lawmakers have noted that online poker is on the horizon in the coming years. There is also evidence that the industry will continue to rise in popularity.
While the US has yet to reach full-scale legalization, several state legislatures have voted in favor of online poker. However, the lion’s share of online poker traffic is found on a small number of networks. Several of the aforementioned legislative proposals are intended to legalize online poker as early as 2022.