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The States Likely To Legalize Poker Next



The States Likely To Legalize Poker Next

The States Likely To Legalize Poker Next

Online poker has grown in popularity in the U.S. despite legislation restricting it in recent years. According to Statista, the global online gambling industry amounted to a whopping $61.5 billion as of 2021.

Perhaps this is a replay of the 2003-2006 poker boom years when online poker doubled in size every year. For those that remember this period, they probably also recall the day when the Department of Justice seized the bank accounts of online poker sites in what is referred to as Black Friday. While these are things of the past, online poker has rebuilt its reputation and now there are states that earn tax dollars from the industry. In fact, the state of New Jersey collected $302.7 million in taxes in 2022, with online poker contributing part of the taxes collected.

Understanding the legalities of online gambling in the U.S. can be a bit confusing, as legislation is constantly changing. Current poker legislation allows for online gaming in seven states, but only five states have operators offering the platforms right now. Here is an easy way to look at it:

As of July 2022:

The seven states that have legalized online poker are Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, and West Virginia.

The two states that have legalized internet poker, but have not issued any business licenses to any operators are Connecticut and West Virginia.

Other states are likely to follow suit, especially once they see how much money is being generated from tax dollars, but which state will be next and what’s the state of play there?

1. Indiana

In 2019, the state of Indiana passed legislation to make online sports betting legal, including mobile wagering, so long as it is done within state lines. This means anyone 21 years and older can place bets on professional and college sports from a smartphone. Since online sports betting is on the table, and the state has discussed other forms of online gambling – legalized online poker could definitely be a possibility in the imminent future.

2. California

As of July 2022, that state of California permits six poker rooms to operate in Los Angeles, and legally allows daily fantasy sports and horse racing sites to conduct business online, such as DaftKings and FanDuel. There have also been proposals to allow real sports betting sites, which are current initiatives on the 2022 and 2023 ballots. If California state does acquire a license for online poker, an operator may move into the state to expand their Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, which allows poker sites to open in more than one state.

3. Arizona

Arizona currently has more than 30 casinos across the state operating on Native American territory. Some of the popular casinos include Bucky’s Casino, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, and Casino Del Sol Resort, among others. Inside of these establishments, playing poker for real money is perfectly legal. While Arizona legislation does not explicitly prohibit online poker, we know that gambling is permitted within the state and we can anticipate the possibility of legislation opening up to online poker. It could be only a matter of time.

Online poker is on the rise, but it’s still only legal in a few states. With so much money coming in from tax revenues, and the legislation of each state slowly leaning towards legalizing online gambling, other states will surely join in soon. Keep an eye out for updates in your state.

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