Originally, internet poker was played in chat rooms. Soon, a few “live” pros complained about the game. However, the Internet became a popular destination for casual players, who found it an appealing alternative to gambling in land-based casinos.
Once the technology advanced, online poker turned more serious. As a result, the games became more regulated. Licensed sites monitor player and bank data, as well as protect players from fraudulent activities. They also process thousands of secure transactions every day.
Some online poker operators are even available in foreign countries, allowing non-American players to participate in the game. A few select states in the US have passed legislation to license online poker rooms. In 2017, Pennsylvania and West Virginia enacted laws to allow players to play for real money.
The first state to legalize online poker was Nevada. The state kept the interstate compact, while implementing a set of rules that ensured fair play.
Several other states have recently started regulating online poker. California, Michigan, and New Jersey joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) in 2017.
The Supreme Court’s decision to clear the way for state-regulated interstate poker in the US was a major victory for the industry. While the DOJ has appealed the ruling, it’s unlikely that the DOJ will be able to overturn it.
Since then, the number of licensed poker operators has increased. Many of the networks that operate poker sites have reported higher traffic levels. Despite the recent ruling, there is still uncertainty about what a multi-state online poker market would look like.