The recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an explosion in traffic to online poker sites. This pandemic has resulted in the indefinite closure of most live gaming venues worldwide, including many unlicensed establishments. Due to the sudden dearth of entertainment options, casual players have turned to poker online as an alternative. Several operators reported double or triple traffic after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Read on to learn more about the game, its history, and the potential benefits of poker online.
Offshore poker sites are a good option for players who are looking for anonymity and protection. However, players should keep in mind that offshore poker sites may be vulnerable to exploitation. Though offshore poker sites are not necessarily illegal, they are not entirely regulated. Moreover, some offshore poker sites do not service states where gambling laws prohibit online poker. For example, New Jersey and Delaware have banned online poker, and some of them have even been prosecuted.
Legalization of online poker in the US
There has been considerable debate about legalizing online poker in the US. In the past, the DOJ’s interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act effectively banned online gambling in the US. However, the Office of Legal Counsel at the DOJ has recently reexamined the Wire Act’s scope at the urging of Illinois and New York. However, the possibility of a federal ban on online gambling continues to grow less likely with each passing year.
Best variants of the game
Most of us are familiar with Texas Hold’em, but there are many other variants available, too. You can mix and match different forms of poker to find your favorite style. Some variations even combine two or more games into one. Here are a few to try out:
Money laundering allegations
The government has filed a case against two poker online sites for money laundering. The government says the poker sites colluded with payment processors to deceive players. In addition to deceiving players, the defendants also created fictitious companies and phone cards to facilitate credit card transactions. These actions were the foundation for the money laundering charges and fraud that resulted. The lawsuit claims that Bitar, Scheinberg, and their associates took millions of dollars from online poker players to defraud the US government.
The UIGEA was passed in 2006 to curb gambling activity in the United States. In the beginning, it seemed like a good idea; however, after several months, the law proved to be a disaster. A few years later, however, a handful of poker websites are back in business. A few of them have even become publicly-traded. For example, Party Gaming went public in 2005 and became the largest publicly-traded online poker site.