Is It Legal To Play Poker Online in 2015?

Is Online Poker Legal?...A valid question and concern from the prospective players who are bombarded with advertisements of The Pro Players provoking them to play via mainstream TV

Real Money Poker Players - Quick Facts

  • 40 million people play poker on a regular basis.
  • 23 million of these regular players reside in the USA.
  • 15 million people play real money poker online.
  • 7 million people play real money online poker at least once a month.
  • 5 million people play poker for real money at least once a month in Home Games.
  • 2 million people play poker for real money at least once a month in "Private Clubs”.
  • 10 million people have played poker in a casino in the last year.
  • Of 15 million real money poker players, 76% are male.
  • Of the 15 million real money poker players, 58% are under the age of 35.

Real Money Poker Demographics

  • 2.6% of all adults play online poker for real money
  • 3.8% of all adults in America play online poker for real money
  • 3.2% of all adults in Canada play online poker for real money
  • 3.2% of all adults in U.K. play online poker for real money
  • 6.2% of all adults in Scandinavia play online poker for real money
  • 1.3% of all adults in France play online poker for real money
  • 1.2% of all adults in Germany play online poker for real money
  • 4.0% of all adult males play online poker for real money
  • 1.2% of all adult females play online poker for real money
  • 5.0% of all adults aged 18-34 play online poker for real money
  • 7.2% of all males aged 18-34 play online poker for real money

So Is Online Poker Legal Or Not!?

Are There Laws against Real Money Poker Where You Live?

In many regions of the world there is legislation against playing online poker for real money. Specifically in the USA there are several States that have legislation which could cause you to be braking state or tribal laws by playing online poker. If you want to play poker online for real money and live in the USA, you should first make sure it is not outlawed by the State in which you reside.

UIGEA - Federal Action Against Funding Online Poker In The USA

The UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was a bill that was signed into law by President George W. Bush as a result of being sneakily attached to the Safe Port Act of 2006.

What The UIGEA Does:The UIGEA does not criminalize online poker players but makes it illegal for US financial institutions to fund an online poker account. As a result, it is sometimes difficult for USA players to transfer money to and from online poker sites than it previously was. Note that it is currently illegal to operate an online poker room within the USA. The Poker Rooms that USA players play at are privately owned (in contrast to being publicly traded) and liscensed outside of the USA.

The passing of the UIGEA resulted in many Publicly Traded poker sites closing their "doors" to USA customers. This caused many unregulated off-shore poker sites to see vast increases in their player base as USA players sought after new venues. The UIGEA resulted in Pokerstars gaining the position of the world's largest online poker room over the former champ "Party Poker."

American Poker Player Surveys After The UIGEA

Since the passing of UIGEA which restricted online poker financial processing, 23% of online real money players initially stopped playing. In Contrast, 9% initially started playing. Therefore, there were 14% fewer players (2007) *Note that the number of new players and returning players has boomed again since the original legislation.
Before the UIGEA 11% said they may stop playing. 29% however, said they planned to start playing (again) within the next 6 months. Only 5% said that the UIGEA would cause them to play less
The biggest effect of the UIGEA seemed to have on players was switching sites. 38% of those still playing in America said they have switched or were planning to switch sites.
88% of real money online poker players play for stakes that result in a win or loss of less than $100 a day. 2% play for stakes with wins or losses equaling over $1000 a day
Apparently Real money players like to stick to one poker site. Less than 10% of players say they currently play regularly on more than one site. Most players, however, have tried many sites before finding their “home”. Only 13% say they have only ever played on one site; 44% say they have played on four or more and 13% on seven or more
Players’ greatest concern reported about fairness is that they might be playing against bots. This is followed by worries about collusion amongst other players.
Most regular online players think that online and live poker are very different games. They say that they believe there is much more skill in “live” poker

Legality of Online Poker Conclusion

Real Money Online Poker is played by tons of people across the glob. Many of those people are breaking regional laws and some players play online knowing or at least believing that they are not breaking any laws....

Because of the absence of regulation of privately owned off-shore online poker sites, Anyone in the world can play real money online poker 24/7. It is the players responsibility to determine whether or not playing online poker is breaking regional laws that could result in prosecution. To this date, no players have been prosecuted for any form of online wagering.

April 15th, Black Friday In Online Poker

On April 15th, 2011, The FBI seized 4 .com domains from 4 of the biggest US facing online poker brands, crippling them in the US market. Many Speculate this action is a means push these brands out of control of the US market and open the way for Big Name Casino Brands to open shop in online poker when federal regulation takes place in the USA. Here is a poem and reference in response to the newly shaped question of is online poker illegal.
Play Poker @Bodog