Poker is a world favourite card game. There are many different variations, which mean that there is a game for everyone out there. The most popular game is Texas hold ‘em. Every day, millions of people from all over the world bet on this and other forms of online games.
Before the UIGEA circus and the recent attempts at streamlining online betting in the US, at least 3% of the entire population had taken part in one form or another of online poker. That is an average of nine million people in the US alone.
Legal or Illegal?
One question that never gets old is whether it is legal by law to gamble on these online poker platforms with real money. It is estimated that the global online gambling market is worth a whopping $73.45 Billion. Where a lot of money is quickly changing hands, you can expect a combination of exhilaration and danger.
UIGEA itself does not touch on individuals but affects only banks. So, if you need a short answer on whether or not online gambling is legal the answer is yes. It is legal to play online except in Washington state.
What you need to watch out for are the terms under which you will be required to bet and retrieve your money. Taxes are another thing to watch out for if you’re doing it professionally.
Online betting bank wires are criminal in some states because of UIGEA. The recent changes in legislation in many states is a direct effort in trying to streamline the system better so that “legal online gambling” will not be the complicated hubbub it is today.
Many pro poker players have chosen to move to other countries to protect their money from the ambiguous US laws on online gambling.
Unpopular Opinions of Billionaires in the Industry
Sheldon Adelson is one outspoken billionaire when it comes to online gambling. A lot of people assume that he is against online poker because he is in the brick and mortar version of it and it serves a huge threat to his business.
Sheldon Adelson made his billion-dollar empire in casinos and traditional gambling among other business ventures. Initially, he supported the idea of online casinos and even had teams researching on them. Many expected that this was an interest that he would invest in.
An article by the verge suggested that Adelson has been a tough lobbyist against online gambling and he has “appointed” lobbyists in the political scene and media. He is fighting for online gambling to be criminalised and has gained many enemies from the pro-online gambling community both in Vegas and online.
Billionaires like Adelson do not spend their time and money on matters that have no premeditated end. Whatever it is Adelson is up to we do not fully know. What we do know for a fact is that there are no specific laws that make any form of online gambling a criminal act as of today (2019).
Half-Baked Legislation or an Orchestrated Ploy to Keep the Rich Wealthy?
Wealthy people take advantage of loopholes in the law to maximize their returns. Whether the tricky US laws on online betting are a matter of negligence on the federal part or an orchestrated plan to help the wealthy maximize on their wealth, there needs attention to the matter. There might be many more pressing issues but a market with large margins like the betting world needs proper regulation and fast.