Online poker is one of the reasons there has been a dramatic rise in poker players worldwide. Those who could not access live casinos in their area or afford a trip to Vegas can now gamble in the comfort and privacy of the home. With the explosion of online poker playing websites, and a quick proximity to the temptations of gambling, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations of playing the game on the Internet.
One of the pros of online gambling is that it is more affordable. Not having to pay for gas, hotel and meals allows players to spend more on the games themselves. Online gaming also allows players to wager small sums, which attracts novices.
The cons are that this type of poker is much more susceptible to fraud, although great lengths are taken by website proprietors to monitor possible fraud and collusion.
Since 2002, state and federal courts have been debating the legality of online gambling. In November of that year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit passed the Federal Wire Act, which prohibits conducting a business based betting on sports via telecommunications lines but does not refer to individual customers nor does it prevent gambling via the Internet on games of chance.
Through the years, this act has been challenged and disputed, and as a result, many online gaming sites have closed their doors. As of 2010, it is not considered illegal to use online gaming sites as a consumer, as long as the player does not own a piece of the business that runs the site, is not breaking any state laws, is betting only against other players and is playing a game of skill and chance, not betting on sports.
In other words, it’s currently legal to play poker online, as long as it’s legal to play poker in your state. So take advantage of some of the great incentives gambling sites offer, and try your hand in a few tournaments. Most of these sites also allow you to play for ‘points’ rather than real money, if practice or fun is really all you’re interested in.