Online poker has been around for decades. The first online poker site was launched in the late 1990s. After 2003, when Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker, the unregulated online poker market exploded. Eventually, several sites were forced out of the US market by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. But that wasn’t the end of the story. In the summer of 2013, regulated online poker made a comeback. Several states licensed poker rooms and, in some cases, signed multi-state agreements. This allowed a handful of sites to remain in the US.
One of the most interesting parts of the new era of regulated online poker is the ability to move money from one state to another. Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have all signed multi-state agreements. These agreements allow for shared player pools and liquidity. By allowing players to play for real money from different states, the US regulated online poker industry could increase its overall footprint and increase competition.
Another big benefit is the fact that players can access online poker at social venues and social online poker sites. Many of these sites offer freeroll tournaments to attract beginners. For less wealthy players, these types of freerolls are a great way to start. However, these games may not be legal in your state.
Some states are taking the lead in online poker legislation. New York has a long tradition of championing this cause. During the 2019 legislative session, Assemblyman David Addabbo and Assemblyman Charles Pretlow have been vocal in their support for a regulated and taxable online poker industry.
New Jersey joined the MSIGA (Multi-state Internet Gaming Agreement) in 2017. Although it took some time, the Garden State became the third regulated market in the US.
New York has also been a leader when it comes to the whack-a-mole, the unofficial name for a new type of high stakes poker game that pits two opponents against each other. This type of poker game allows for a more strategic player pool to be divided across more states at a given time, thereby increasing the liquidity of the game.
As far as the best states to legalize and regulated online poker are concerned, it’s difficult to make a final call. Historically, Alaska has been opposed to gambling, and the state has a relatively small population to draw from. A regulated online poker industry would require an appropriate licensing body. Other states that have a secondary residence include California, Washington, Hawaii, and Idaho.
Despite the state’s anti-gambling reputation, the state has been home to a number of online poker sites. While some of them accept US dollars only, others accept payments in a variety of currencies.
Aside from the actual games themselves, a well-regulated poker industry in the state would have a lot to offer. If players could take advantage of lower overhead costs and more flexible payment options, the economic impact on the state could be substantial. Moreover, the influx of players from other states would improve the competition and give operators more leverage for larger guarantees and bigger guarantees in general.