Legal Online Poker: Is Online Poker Legal in the US?

Legal online poker in the USA is complicated because it includes federal gambling laws and 50 sets of state gambling laws. Laws like the 1961 Federal Wire Act and the 2006 UIGEA are key factors in how Americans play poker online. A guide to US online gambling laws thus has to account for all of these various statutes.

When the Internet went mainstream in the 1990s, online poker existed in a legal void. Gambling online was one of the first activities that launched, but the technology was so new that the US government had no policy. For the better part of a decade, US online poker sites, casinos, and sportsbooks operated without regulatory oversight.

The Poker Boom in the USA

The Poker Boom changed all of that. In 2003, Chris Moneymaker won entry into the World Series of Poker Main Event by paying a $86 entry fee and winning a satellite poker event. Moneymaker beat a field of 839 other players to win the WSOP Main Event, a feat that was featured on ESPN for months. Seeing a skilled amateur win the biggest event in poker was a watershed moment for organized poker events.

Moneymaker's win was a key moment for online poker, too. Since he won entry into the WSOP Main Event on PokerStars, amateur card players worldwide took note. At the same tournament the next year, 2,576 entrants paid the $10,000 entry fee into the WSOP Main Event. This growth mirrored what happened to online gambling in general. From 2003 to 2006, the Poker Boom saw millions of players worldwide start to play poker online.

Mainstream popularity caused a backlash, though. US politicians took notice. Key groups in the US population lobbied to have online poker, sports betting, and casino gaming regulated, while others sought to have these activities banned. This led to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006.

The 2006 UIGEA

UIGEA is a complicated law for online poker players. It bans types of online gambling that are banned (for telephone lines) under the 1961 Wire Act. Thus, understanding UIGEA requires an understanding of the Wire Act. Signed into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, the Wire Act specifically banned interstate sports betting over phone lines. Using wiretaps, the FBI could prosecute sports betting racketeers. The Wire Act was used by the federal government to take down organized crime.

From 1961 to 2006, the Wire Act applied phone-based sports betting, but never for poker or casino games. The reason was simple: people couldn't make fair bets on poker, slots, or blackjack over phone lines. When UIGEA was passed, many argued that the law only applied to online sports betting. The US Department of Justice in the Bush era argued that UIGEA also applied to online poker and online casinos, though.

This caused a huge shift in the US online poker market. Some top poker sites left the US market. Many payment processors also let, because the UIGEA specifically targeted gambling payment processors. Many of the best online poker rooms continued to accept Americans, while new operators emerged. The choice often boiled down to whether a company was privately-owned or publicly traded -- for instance, UK gaming operators that were publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange had to leave the US market. 

Thus, poker sites that accepted US players moved offshore. Many were licensed in Antigua or Kahnawake (in Canada), though others received licenses in Gibraltar, Malta, or Cyprus. Over time, Curacao and Costa Rica became licensing hubs for US online gambling sites. 

Black Friday and the 2011 DOJ Crackdown

This led to legal consequences. On April 15, 2011, the US Justice Department unsealed indictments for top executives at PokerStars, FullTilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. In what became known as Black Friday, the DOJ also seized these sites' domains. This led to a huge settlement between PokerStars and the US government, where the world's largest poker site paid over $700 million in fines. 

2011 and 2012 were dark times for US online poker players, but help was on the way. In 2011, the attorney generals of Illinois and New York filed a question with the Obama-era US Department of Justice. The question asked whether the UIGEA applied only to online sports betting or also to online poker and casinos. In December 2011, the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel replied that the UIGEA only applied to sports betting. It cited that the Wire Act had ONLY been used to target sports betting for the previous 5 decades.

States Where Online Poker is Legal

The DOJ opinion led to a wave of US states legalizing online casinos and poker sites. At present, 6 states have licensed online poker sites and a seventh should have operating sites by 2023. Here is a rundown of those states. 

Nevada Legalizes Online Poker

Suddenly, individual US states could legalize, regulate, license, and tax online cardrooms and casinos. This led to three state referendums in 2012 -- in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware -- that would legalize online poker and/or casinos. All three passed in the November 2012 US presidential election, allowing those three states to launch legal online poker in 2013.

New Jersey and Delaware Launch Online Poker

Nevada was the first state to legalize online poker, though it did not legalize online casinos. Delaware regulated both, then launched online gaming portals for its three horse racing tracks: Dover Downs, Harrington Racecourse, and Delaware Park. In November 2013, New Jersey launched online poker and online casinos. Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey horse tracks could operate such licensed gambling sites.

Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan Join the Ranks

At the time, JP Morgan predicted that many other US states would follow suit over the next 5 to 10 years. In fact, it was a full five years before another state passed online gambling, when Pennsylvania did so in October 2018. Since then, West Virginia and Michigan also legalized online poker and casino sites.

Legalization of Online Poker in the United States

Much of the hesitation came from Sheldon Adelson's attempts to ban online gambling of all sorts, including his pet legislation, Restore America's Wire Act (RAWA), which several top US congressmen supported from 2014 to 2016. Disputes among existing gambling groups hamstrung legalization efforts in some states.

A seventh US state soon will join the fold. On May 27, 2021, Connecticut Gov. Greg Lamont signed an online poker bill into law. The law gives the state's two tribal casinos -- Foxwoods Casino and Mohegan Sun -- the right to launch online poker sites. The bill also legalized land-based sportsbooks at the two casinos.

Latest Legal US Online Poker News

More states could legalize online poker in the coming months and years. US states have chronic budgetary problems. Like Pennsylvania in 2018, those states could look to gambling as an alternative source of tax revenue when they don't want to raise property taxes, income taxes, or sales taxes. If a new US state regulates online poker, we'll update that information here.

Poker and Gambling Laws by State

Currently, six US states have active licensed online poker sites. Connecticut plans to implement online poker play in the later stages of 2022, so we'll have 7 legal online poker states by the end of the year.

Is Online Poker Legal in the USA?

Alabama: Alabama doesn't even allow lottery betting, so it's not likely to legalize online gambling anytime soon. The state does have a few land-based tribal gambling venues. The AL government has fought legal battles against slot parlors in these race tracks in the past 10 years.

Alaska: Poker clubs are in a legal gray area in Alaska, but not many exist. Most gambling is handled in Alaska's 11 bingo halls. Both gaming operators and players face stiff fines for illegal gambling. Alaska's small population of 731,545 people means the poker sites wouldn't have a sizable poker community without interstate poker liquidity -- which isn't possible right now.

Arizona: You'll find 28 land-based casinos, poker rooms, and bingo halls spread throughout 20 different Arizona cities. Arizona also has 8 horse/dog tracks and 43 OTBs. This high number of land-based gaming venues means it's unlikely we'll see online gambling sites anytime soon. 

Arkansas: Arkansas has 2 tracks with slots parlors in West Memphis (Southland Racing) and Hot Springs (Oaklawn Racing), plus 2 land-based casinos in Pine Bluff. To protect those venues' business, Arkansas lawmakers are unlikely to pass online gambling legislation. 

California: No US state has more brick-and-mortar gaming venues than California, which has 78 land-based casinos and 60 poker clubs. The Golden State also has dozens of horse tracks, OTBs, casino cruises, and bingo halls. Since 2012, 6 different lawmakers introduced 11 different online poker bills, but all failed because of "Bad Actor" clauses over the role PokerStars would play.

Colorado: Colorado passed sports betting to boost the revenues of its many land-based casinos, so it's possible that state leaders might pass regulated online gambling in the coming years. Lack of public support appears to be the main drawback, so nothing is imminent. 

Connecticut: The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot (Foxwoods) tribes have pushed for online gambling legalization over the past several years. Connecticut Gov. Greg Lamont signed an online gambling bill into law in May 2021, so expect to see Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods launch their online poker sites in 2022 and 2023. A longstanding lawsuit by MGM Resorts over a Hartford-area casino could delay implementation.

Delaware: Delaware was one of the first states to launch legal online poker and casinos in 2013. Three operators have poker sites: Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Racecourse. Delaware also signed the Multi State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) with Nevada in 2014, which New Jersey joined in 2018. This interstate poker compact's future is down due to a 2019 US Justice Department opinion on interstate poker. Federal courts backed the pro-online poker interpretation in 2022. 

Florida: The Seminole Tribe of Florida (Hardrock International) has a state-sanctioned gambling monopoly for most forms of gaming in the Sunshine State. If Florida ever legalizes online poker, expect the Seminoles to launch any casino or poker sites. Florida is quick to prosecute illegal operators, including the sweepstakes cafes that proliferated a few years back.

Georgia: Georgia has online lottery sales, which makes it slightly more likely to pass online poker than other states in the deep south. That's not likely, because Georgia's lawmakers continue to reject bills for legalized land-based casino gaming. Until that happens, don't expect any talk of licensed online poker sites.

Hawaii: One of only two US states that bans 100% of gambling, players shouldn't expect to see regulated online poker in Hawaii in the near future. 

Idaho: Idaho stipulates that land-based poker is illegal, though online poker exists in a gray area. Idaho actually has 10 small slots venues in 7 different cities, along with 7 different pari-mutuel racetracks operating. Online poker happens at offshore card sites.

Illinois: Riverboat casinos were a mainstay of Illinois gambling for decades, though the state passed land-based casinos in 2019. Illinois also allows video gaming terminals (VGTs) in local bars and restaurants. Each community has the right to legalize VGTs in their area. With so many land-based gaming operators, don't expect poker sites to be legalized anytime soon.

Indiana: The Hoosier State has 11 land-based casinos, 2 horse tracks, 4 off-track betting facilities, and many bingo halls. We've seen no indication that Indiana will legalize online gambling in the near future.

Iowa: Lawmakers have considered online poker in recent years, though no bill has gained traction in the legislature. Iowa has 20 land-based casinos, plus pari-mutuel wagering at horse tracks and dog tracks. With so many vested interests in brick-and-mortar gaming, we don't expect to see regulated online poker anytime in the coming years.

Kansas: Kansas offers players several ways to gamble, including 11 land-based casinos and a bevy of charitable bingo halls. It does not appear close to legal online gambling in the near future. Online gambling isn't addressed in the Kansas state constitution.

Kentucky: The Bluegrass State has taken a harsh stance against online poker in recent years. It seized 140 gambling domains and sued PokerStars for $870 million in lost tax revenues. That ploy failed in 2018 when PokerStars won in the Court of Appeals, though the Kentucky Supreme Court could take up the case. Despite all of this, Kentucky is a dark horse to legalize online poker, as Gov. Andy Bashear supports sports betting and online gambling legislation.

Louisiana: With nearly 150 land-based casinos and gaming halls, Louisiana is a southern state that loves gambling. Louisiana gaming laws have a somewhat confusing definition of gambling that complicates any legislation in the state. Residents pushed a 2018 online gambling referendum, but the measure failed to gain a vote. 

Maine: Maine state law does not strictly forbid playing online poker. Land-based poker is legal in specific situations. With 1 land-based casino, Oxford Casino, and 10 different horse tracks, Maine has a fairly established land-based gaming industry. We've seen no indication these operations want online gambling, so Maine players can expect to play poker at offshore sites.

Maryland: With big venues like the MGM National Harbor, Horseshoe Baltimore, and Live! Casino in Hanover, Maryland embraces land-based casino gaming. The state also supports bingo halls and pari-mutuel racetrack betting, but online gambling sites do not appear to be on the horizon. Maryland gambling laws are complicated by county-level gambling bans in some parts of the state.

Massachusetts: Massachusetts is a gambling-friendly state. Big venues like MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor launched in 2018 and 2019. For a time in 2017, it appeared lawmakers might pass legal online gambling. Don't expect licensed online poker in the coming years. 

Michigan: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a sports betting and online gambling legalization bill into law in late 2019. With the legal framework in place, Michigan saw a launch of online poker sites in 2021. Top operators now compete for players in the state. Michigan also has a significant land-based casino industry, including MGM Detroit and Greektown Casino.

Minnesota: Minnesota embraced tablet gambling in order to fund U.S. Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Vikings. The Land of 10,000 Lakes also has many forms of land-based gambling, but it has unclear laws on poker in the state. No initiatives have formed in recent years for online gambling legalization, so Minnesota players gamble at offshore online cardrooms.

Mississippi: Due to its longstanding embrace of land-based casinos, Mississippi has clear poker laws. The state's economy is intertwined with casino gambling, with a major hub in Tunica County in the northwestern portion of the state plus casinos on the Gulf Coast around Biloxi and Gulfport. Because Tunica casinos have struggled in recent years, Mississippi passed land-based sports betting in 2018. 

Missouri: The Gateway State has 13 land-based casinos tied to famous names like Harrah's, Bally's, Ameristar, and Isle of Capri. It also has strict laws where illegal operators are prosecuted aggressively. Online gambling is not mentioned in Missouri statutes.

Montana: Big Sky County has few poker options. The state has serious penalties for illegal gambling, while Montana has 207 different land-based casinos and cardrooms. Most of these venues are tiny, with cardrooms containing as few as one poker table and casinos having no more than 20 slot machines. With the many small venues, the chances of online gambling being legalized are minute.

Nebraska: A Nebraska lawmaker supported a poker bill in 2021 that would have recognized land-based poker as a game of skill, but the bill gained little traction in the legislature. Though the population appears to support gambling expansion, lawmakers do not support the issue at present. 

Nevada: The Silver State was the first US state to legalize online poker, though it did not legalize online casino gambling. Nevada also signed the Multi State Internet Gambling Association (MSIGA) in 2014 with Delaware, thus creating an interstate poker compact for shared player liquidity. Despite the forward-thinking legislative outlook, Nevada's casino operators never embraced online poker. Only one poker portal continues to operate, despite the 100+ brick-and-mortar casinos in the state.

New Hampshire: New Hampshire law has a vague definition of poker that leaves the game in legal limbo. New Hampshire is one of the states which has legal online lottery ticket sales. In fact, the state joined New Jersey's and Pennsylvania's online gambling lawsuit in 2019 that challenged the Trump-era DOJ's opinion on the UIGEA.

New Jersey: Of all US states, New Jersey is the primary example of successful legal online gambling. Then-Gov. Chris Christie launched licensed online poker and casino sites in November 2013. Despite trouble at first with geolocation software and the absence of PokerStars from the online poker industry, Atlantic City casinos eventually launched successful online gambling operations. Borgata had been the top poker and casino sites for a time, though the PokerStars/Resorts Casino combination eventually challenged in online poker and the SugarHouse/Golden Nugget partnership seized first place in the online casino market.

New Mexico: New Mexico's various tribal casinos have poker rooms, but the state still doesn't have licensed online poker. In recent years, one or two casinos have focused more on land-based sports betting than online gambling. 

New York: The Empire State has a patchwork of tribal casinos and commercial casinos, along with horse tracks like Tioga Downs. Several times in the past 5 years, state lawmakers like Joe Addabbo and Gary Pretlow have supported online gambling bills. None of those have passed, and New York lawmakers now seem more preoccupied with the legalization of sports betting. New York is one of a handful of states that might legalize online poker in the coming years, but it's not on the immediate horizon. 

North Carolina: Like most southern states in the USA, North Carolina takes a dim view of most forms of gambling. Poker is not specifically banned under state law, though it appears to fall under the definition of banned gaming. North Carolina is unlikely to pass online gambling legalization in the coming years, though state officials are more focused on the legality of "fish games" (video sweepstakes machines) than online gambling at the moment. 

North Dakota: North Dakota has 10 land-based casinos and 19 land-based card rooms at the present. To protect these venues, it has strict anti-gambling laws that ban poker gaming. Despite that, North Dakota lawmakers have discussed in recent years the legalization of online gambling. Nothing is pending at the moment.

Ohio: Gov. Mike Dewine has advanced gambling in the state during his term in office, while online poker and casino gaming have been up for inclusion at times. Despite some hopes that online gambling would be passed, nothing has happened. With 4 land-based casinos and 4 land-based card rooms, the mix seems right for licensed online poker in the state. If DeWine wins reelection in 2022, Ohio might move forward on gaming legislation. 

Oklahoma: Oklahoma has a substantial land-based tribal casino community with nearly 145 different gaming venues. This complicates any potential online gambling legislation. With budgetary shortfalls and its large regulated gambling industry, Oklahoma is a dark horse for online poker -- though nothing is imminent at the moment and chances remain slight.

Oregon: Oregon bans most forms of online gambling at present, though the state lottery offers mobile sports betting. Poker is listed among the banned activities, though Oregon has 10 land-based casinos and 14 land-based card rooms. These are the main obstacles to online poker in the near future. With punitive laws for illegal gambling, don't expect legalized Oregon online poker in the coming years.

Pennsylvania: Faced with a $2 billion budget shortfall, Pennsylvania passed legal online poker in October 2017. The omnibus gambling bill also includes legal sports betting, online casinos, daily fantasy sports, video lottery terminals (VLTs) at truck stops, and tablet betting at international airports. The new influx of gaming is expected to generate $200 million in tax revenues for Pennsylvania each year, while top online poker operators would team up with famous land-based PA casinos like Parx Casino, Hollywood Casino, and SugarHouse Casino.

Rhode Island: Rhode Island's statutes include a number of vague statutes and legal definitions involving gambling. For that reason, poker exists in a kind of legal gray area. Though it has several anti-gambling laws, the punishments for banned play are minor.

South Carolina: South Carolina gambling laws ban almost any form of gambling, so poker is seen as a banned activity. The state even makes it illegal to own old slot machines, while any game -- even those which don't involve gambling -- could be considered illegal. South Carolina is nowhere close to passing online poker legalization.

South Dakota: South Dakota has 44 different casinos, most of which have 50 to 350 gaming machines. Deadwood itself has 28 casinos. This state government makes it illegal to operate an online gambling website with servers in South Dakota. Despite that, individual residents who play poker online do not face prosecution.

Tennessee: The Volunteer State prohibits most forms of gambling, though it has no specific laws on the books against online gambling. Thus, online poker and casino gaming exist in a gray area. While Tennessee is like most southern states in banning many forms of gambling, the state legislature did pass a forward-thinking daily fantasy sports bill a few years ago. Despite that, legal online gambling doesn't appear close to passage.

Texas: While The Lone Star State does not regulate online gambling, Texans play at offshore online poker, casino, and sports betting sites. It bans several forms of gambling, including most land-based casino gambling. Texas allows pari-mutuel race track betting, charitable bingo gambling, poker clubs, 8-liners (maquinitas), and one tribal casino (Naskila Gaming) owned by the Alabama-Coushatta tribe. Poker rooms are not supposed to allow cash prizes, but use seat licenses and expensive refreshments to make up the difference. 

Utah: Like Hawaii, Utah has a 100% ban on all forms of gambling. Utah is one of the US states least likely to regulate online gambling. Despite that, Utah poker players can play at offshore online cardrooms without fear of prosecution.

Vermont: The Green Mountain State's gambling laws reflect its people's love of personal freedom. While there is a ban on certain forms of gambling, the punishments (fines) are relatively light for such activity. While no lawmakers have introduced online poker legalization measures, Vermont poker players can play at the offshore cardrooms without being prosecuted.

Virginia: The Commonwealth of Virginia doesn't have a specific ban on online gambling, though its ban on specific forms of land-based gambling might apply to players. With online gambling existing in a legal gray area, card players can play at the offshore online poker sites.

Washington State: Washington is one of the few US states that have a specific ban on online gambling. In fact, playing at an online poker site is considered a felony under Washington state law. The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) has been fairly aggressive when it comes to other forms of online gaming -- specifically against Seattle-based Steam gaming -- but it has never prosecuted a resident for playing at real money offshore online gambling sites. Washington poker players should take greater precautions than most US card players, though.

West Virginia: In 2019, West Virginia became the 5th US state to legalize online poker and online casinos. Since then, the Mountaineer State has undergone the long process of licensing and launching online gaming portals. That process should be complete by the end of 2022.

Wisconsin: While Wisconsin state law allows poker players to enjoy their game in a variety of ways, Wisconsin online poker lacks absolute clarity. A few years back, one Wisconsin judge admitted in an aside that poker is a game of skill, but he also cited a law from the 1960s that seemed to ban organized poker despite that pronouncement. With 26 tribal casinos owned by groups like the Ho-Chunk, Potawatomi, Oneida, and St. Croix tribes, the state's approach to banning gambling is fairly strict. Still, Wisconsin card players can play at offshore online poker rooms without fear of legal consequences.

Wyoming: Wisconsin has 4 small casinos, one poker room, 2 pari-mutuel horse tracks, and 17 off-track betting facilities. It also entertained legalizing sports betting and gambling on "legal games of skill" in 2020, but the bill did not pass. Because Wyoming has a number of state-sanctioned gaming venues, it has fairly strict laws on illegal gambling. Given the fact Wyoming has the smallest population of any US state, single-state poker sites wouldn't have sizable player communities if they were allowed to operate, anyway.

Benefits of Legal Online Poker

Legal poker sites offer a lot of benefits that you won't find at unregulated poker sites. Take a look at the section below to see the benefits of playing legal poker online. 

  • Safety of Funds: Because they're regulated by US gambling authorities, every legal poker room must have secure systems to protect your funds. These are tied to land-based casino or lottery programs, so player funds are segregated. The sites' debts are honored. 
  • Identity Protection: Players must verify their identity with proper documentation. When you make a withdrawal request, the site conducts a verification process to assure they send the funds to the right person. Legit online poker rooms have casino-level security encryptions and data verification programs. 
  • Responsible Gaming Protocols: The rules are monitored and enforced by state agencies. If a site breaks the rules, it faces serious consequences: fines, loss of licenses, and prosecution. No authority enforces offshore poker sites, so they don't have the trust factors that legal US online poker sites have. 
  • Game Fairness: Blacklisted poker sites often have unfair terms and conditions. Their one-sided terms of use allow them to deny payment, while no third-party auditors assure the games are fair at all. In regulated online cardrooms, auditors assure fairness and state laws assure the terms of use are equitable. 

Legal Online Poker FAQs

Is online poker legal in the United States?

Yes, though it's divided among regulated and unregulated online poker states. A handful of US states have legalized, licensed, regulated, and taxed online poker. Most don't have any such regulations, which force US players to play poker at offshore online cardrooms. Though operators would be prosecuted by state agencies, those same agencies don't prosecute individuals who play for real money at poker sites. 

Which US states have licensed and legal online poker?

Six states have licensed online poker sites right now: Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan. A seventh state, Connecticut, passed online poker legislation and should have legal poker sites by the end of 2022. 

What poker games are available to play for real money at online cardrooms?

That depends on the site you choose. Most of the sites have Texas Hold'em, several variants of Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud. Others include events with 3-Card Draw, 5-Card Draw, Mississippi Stud, H.O.R.S.E., and Pineapple. Read our online poker site reviews for specific game information. 

How old do I have to be to play online poker?

In most US states, the legal gambling age for online poker is 18. It differs in certain states with regulated online poker because land-based casinos often have a legal age of 21. This is due to the fact that alcohol is consumed on the premises and the legal gambling age is 21. The legal age is 21 for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Nevada, while it's 18 for Michigan and West Virginia.

Can you still play online poker for real money in the US?

Yes, you can. After Black Friday, US players had only one option: play at offshore online cardrooms. That's no longer the case. A handful of US states have licensed poker sites: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, Delaware, and West Virginia.

Several of these states have joined together in a poker compact, the Multi-State Internet Gambling Association (MSIGA), to share player pools. Even in states without regulation, sweepstakes poker sites exist. Thus, most Americans can play poker online for real money. 

Will online poker ever be legal in the US?

If you're talking about legal online poker in all 50 states, the answer is no. If you're talking about online poker being legalized in all 50 states, the answer is no. Utah and Hawaii have total bans on gambling of any kind. At the very least, those two states are unlikely to license online poker in the foreseeable future. 

How old do I have to be to play online poker in the US?

The legal age to play online poker depends on the US state in which you reside. Most US states with regulated online poker set 21 as the age limit. Most US states with unregulated online poker have a limit of 18 or older.

Can I play online poker in Colorado?

Yes, but no regulated online poker sites operate in Colorado. Players have two options: unregulated online poker rooms or sweepstakes poker sites. Unregulated offshore poker sites accept Colorado players but don't have the consumer protections and self-exclusion lists that a regulated site would have.

Sweepstakes poker sites exist in a legal gray area. While sweepstakes are legal in 30 US states, sweeps poker sites use the law in an exotic way that US courts have not ruled on yet. 

If you're in Colorado, you'll need to be 21 or older to play poker online at a sweepstakes poker site and 18 at most other sites. 

What kinds of games are available at legal online poker sites?

The full range of poker games: multi-table tournaments (MTTs), sit & go events (SNGs), and ring games. Also, you can play in progressive knockout tournaments (PKOs), enjoy fast-fold poker, and jackpot sit-and-go event.

Most of these sites offer Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo. Some offer Seven-Card Stud and Pineapple, too. Each online cardroom has major guaranteed weekend and weekday tournaments. If you can play it at offshore online poker sites, then you can play it in a legal online poker site. 

Are there any legal online poker sites in the USA?

Yes, in six states: Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Connecticut passed laws to the same effect, so it should have licensed poker sites in the near future.

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