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Two of the market leaders, Partypoker and Poker , voluntarily exit the US market. Every publicly-traded online poker site quickly followed suit. The online poker market is forever segmented into privately-owned groups still willing to service USA players for real money games and publicly-owned corporations who will only host games for the rest of the world. The latter greatly outweighs the former. Funds are eventually released back to players several months later, but no future e-wallet servicing US players is able to survive long-term.

Processing deposits and withdrawals becomes even more difficult for those sites still catering to US players. The domains of these market-leading USA poker sites are seized and completely banished from operating in the United States. Pokerstars takes less than two weeks to refund US players. Full Tilt Poker loses its operating license in June.

UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, collectively known as the Cereus network, simply shut down without giving USA players any method of withdrawing their funds. It would take several years for American players to be paid out. Pokerstars buys the assets of Full Tilt Poker. As part of the agreement, USA players are finally allowed to begin withdrawal procedures after waiting more than a year. Nevada , Delaware , and New Jersey issue licenses for state-based poker operators.

Only players physically present in those states are allowed to play online. Partypoker, Pokerstars, and Poker all have a presence in different states. Interstate compacts would eventually allow players from different states to compete against each other. Nevada and Delaware sign an online poker compact which allows the two states to combine their player pools into one. Although the total player pool is modest, the agreement was a milestone for online poker development in the United States.

After being gone for more than five years, Pokerstars returns to the USA , offering gameplay to players in New Jersey. PokerStars NJ launched in March , fueling optimism that more states would eventually allow the worldwide leader to obtain licensing.

The US poker market has largely been stable with several states in various stages of regulation and no attacks against unregulated USA-friendly sites since Bitcoin becomes the de facto payment processing system for American-based players due to its privacy and lack of control by any government. The problem for prosecutors is that the main federal anti-gambling statute, the Wire Act, has been held in a published federal Court of Appeals decision to be limited to bets on sports events and races.

Without a doubt, the legality of online poker is the most common question asked about US poker sites since it became its own market in The most common are:. The former 2 answers are laughable to me , not so much for their opinions, but that any writer at a poker website feels qualified to give you an answer on if something is legal or not. There are a handful attorneys who can because they actually specialize in gaming and poker law. I largely base my analysis on what my favorite gaming law expert, the incomparable Professor I.

Nelson Rose , has to say on the subject. The lack of review of the laws that literally changed the game of online poker and lost hundreds of millions of dollars to shareholders is mind-boggling. Even more fascinating is that the mass exodus of publicly-traded online poker sites open to the US that changed everything was done as a result of misinterpretation. Studying the language and even the name itself of that decade-old federal online gambling law, however, can help.

There is no federal law against merely playing poker. Half the states do have mostly ancient laws on the books making it a crime, sometimes, to make a bet. But in the other half, it is not a crime to even bet with an illegal operation. It was such a popular and inaccurate phrase that I did a whole piece on it.

In fact, there are no federal laws that mention playing online poker specifically. Professor Rose, whom I consider the definitive expert on gaming law, tells you that himself.

Although this interview is a little old now, take a look at this clip with Professor Rose for a primer on US online poker law:. Here are the highlights. Left the US market in October Owned by Holdings. It's unclear if they later paid a settlement to USA authorities. Currently one of the top poker sites in the world, by traffic.

Sister site of Poker, Pacific Poker was also among the first to withdraw their services from the United States. Owned by Party Gaming. Party Poker decided to leave the US market immediately after the passage of UIGEA, leaving the door open for their return when separate US states started to pass online poker legislation. Currently, Party Poker offers their services to New Jersey residents. They feature dozens of online poker sites, with some of the most popular being Titan Poker, Bet, and William Hill.

Never entered the USA market. As they caught wind of anti-online gambling legislation in the works, they made the decision to never offer play to Americans.

Left the US market in September The second largest open online poker network, Microgaming includes some big names like Stan James and Mansion Poker. At that point, Microgaming decided to leave the US poker market and so far they have no presence in regulated states. Forced out of the USA market in April PokerStars remains the 1 online poker site in the world, by player traffic.

They've managed to reestablish their presence in the USA by entering the regulated New Jersey poker market. The poker site was only salvaged when PokerStars decided to buy them and return all players' balances. Completely shut down in April After their domains were seized by the US Department of Justice in April of , these two sites never came back online. After years of waiting, former players are now able to request refunds of their player balances. American online poker players?

They mostly get the scraps. You can make a deposit with a US-friendly real money poker site only to find out that no one is willing to play for more than. They can play on a licensed real money US poker site and, you know, only deal with the hollow bonuses and empty tables the rest of the country does. All of these hurdles, legal and otherwise, have faced US poker sites since and yet… US poker still survives. It may not always be pretty, but US-friendly online poker is still standing after some vicious body blows and cheap shots.

US poker players are non-conformists. They can play on a licensed US poker site. A sampling of some of my favorites:. Yes, pretty much every online poker site ever has obtained a license from some tax-and-gaming-friendly jurisdiction.

Fine parts of the world, to be sure, but likely more concerned about that annual licensing fee than actually regularly testing the games and payouts. Heck, Absolute Poker and UB were licensed and literally allowed to operate for years after their own employees were found to be cheating poker players.

So just throw the license out the window. With no government oversight unregulated US poker sites are really only influenced by you , the American consumer.

If a poker site screws up enough on a large enough scale e. Unfortunately, someone will have to get hurt in the process, but in this free US poker site market the cream is going to rise to the top naturally. New sellers are unlikely to get many buyers, but when they eventually build up their reputation by being trustworthy to every single customer they snowball into a force that has no trouble attracting buyers.

Despite an unreal decade, playing online poker from the United States is still a viable option. The twists and turns experienced by the US online poker market would make a fascinating book someday. US online poker is at a crossroads and I would like to help players navigate it as painlessly as possible.

American players could play at the same sites and use the same convenient e-wallets e. Online poker was booming with no end in sight. Everything changed in September when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act UIGEA was secretly attached onto an unrelated must-pass port security bill at the 11th hour before a recess of congress. Payment options slowly returned to US players and the market seemed to stabilize into a new normal: Small privately-owned online poker rooms have filled in the gaps for US players in non-regulated states.

No US-facing poker site currently has exceedingly high traffic, aside from Bovada Poker and the market is at its smallest point with previous mainstays removing their emphasis on new players. Deposit options still exist with Bitcoin leading the way, but are highly dependent on the poker room. The US online poker market is also fragmented with a select few legalized US states offering state-sanctioned games.

I see 3 main possibilities for USA online poker over the next 5 years with none able to be ruled out. A handful of smaller US states offer legalized games while the majority of the country gets by with small private offerings.

This is where we have been now since when a smattering of US states took the brave leap to license and regulate online poker. Sounds reasonable to me. Online poker gets legalized in a major USA state and a majority of the Union follows their coat tails. This could be California, Pennsylvania, or New York. We see a coordinated attack on the USA poker industry, bringing down the remaining privately-owned real money sites.

The piper always comes a-piping, right? May the red, white, and blue flop held together by popsicle sticks and bandaids always be with you. Very easy to set up and start playing. Josh, thanks for the update. You had a guide on how to play each game-ring, tournament, and sit and go.

I printed that guide and kept it next to me for the first year that I played. Before long I became a sit and go monster! No one could beat me! I watched my bank roll grow and it allowed me to enter and bungle more ring games a tournaments! Actually your tournament guide was right on the money— but they are difficult to win.

I trust your judgement completely and others should too. You also wrote an article about the various behaviors of poker players that I found helpful. You are great at explaining strategy and how to implement it. We needed to establish a policy so we could draw a line between acceptable and unacceptable tools and services. We made this decision only after thorough discussion, both internally and with poker experts outside the company, including our team of professionals.

After each hand, they are able to see what cards every other player except you had. Do you want to play at that table? The following are examples of tools and services that are prohibited at all times: There are some tools and services which have legitimate uses for analysing your game, but which are not appropriate for use during play. Typically, these tools fall under the following categories:. The following are examples of tools and services that are prohibited while PokerStars is running: Please include a URL to a relevant web page if possible.

We will review the tool or service and let you know if it's permitted or not. In addition to evaluating new tools and services that come to our attention, we frequently re-examine those already on the permitted and prohibited lists to ensure they continue to fall within our terms of service. In addition, the terms of service themselves and the definition of a prohibited tool or service are periodically re-examined and are subject to change without notice.

These re-examinations can result in a tool or service being reclassified without notice, moving from the permitted list to the prohibited list or vice-versa. We assume no responsibility to notify players of any such reclassifications. Players should regularly check the lists of tools and services to verify the current status of any item's classification. We do not actively endorse or support any tool or service on the permitted list, nor do we make any guarantees regarding the functionality, reliability, or safety of any service whatsoever.

You may only collect hand histories and player information from hands in which you are a participant. We are going to look to see if any of those tools or services that may provide an unfair advantage are running on a player's computer. Our sole interest is in protecting our players and our site from tools and services that we believe are bad for the integrity and fairness of our games. We take your privacy very seriously and complies with relevant Data Protection law.

We do not collect personally-identifiable information, other than that provided by the player during account registration and routine security verifications. It is not possible for any member of our staff to read or copy private data from your machine. For more information, see our Privacy Policy. We believe that it is best to take action against these services at the root. Consequently, we are continually improving our software to stop the datamining of our games. In addition, we reserve the right to take legal action as we deem fit against those services that maliciously and repeatedly breach our Terms of Service.

We may, at our discretion, prevent our client program from running on your machine, or require players to upgrade the client program. However, it is not possible for our staff to remotely modify any file on your computer, or send any file to your machine.

While we reserve the right to confiscate the funds of somebody running a prohibited tool or service, we are not going to do this lightly. Our goal is to educate via warning players who are found to be using prohibited software that is publicly available for download. However, we will confiscate funds if a player shows a pattern of using prohibited tools and services after being warned, or if a player attempts to bypass our detection measures, or if a player is found to be privately developing or using privately developed software that violates our policies.

We do have a more in depth developer reference guide PPSX , PDF if you are interested in finding out some more of the intricacies regarding this policy. If you have any further questions, please contact Support. The support team is on hand to assist you, and can answer any questions not listed in the FAQ.

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Playlists Containing: Spanking Poker Party (Nu-West)