Poker has a long history in the United States. Its early days were primarily played in smoky bars and casinos, with its first foray online appearing in the late 1990s. While not exactly the same as a live game, the Internet poker experience has grown significantly over the years. Today, players can play on their computers, tablets and smartphones. And there are more and more poker sites across the globe.
One of the best features of online poker is that players can participate in multiple tables at the same time. This allows operators to spread more games across their schedules and offers bigger guarantees for players. The technology also makes it possible for sites to offer bonuses to frequent players. A few sites even allow users to view a list of their recent hands.
In addition to offering more gaming options, online venues are less costly to operate. Online sites can hold player’s money and don’t have to pay interest on the money they invest in players’ accounts. Similarly, operators don’t have to deal with the overhead of running a live casino. These factors have led to the rise of online poker as an alternative for those who enjoy the game but aren’t in the mood to visit a physical location.
However, there are several challenges that online poker sites face. For instance, the industry is still navigating regulatory hurdles in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. To ensure that the game is played in a fair and secure manner, the sites are subject to rigorous testing and monitoring. They must also accept a wide range of deposit methods including e-checks and wire transfers.
Despite the regulatory challenges, the US online poker market has remained a hot spot. Some of the largest names in the industry remain available to players. Those looking for something a little less serious should check out smaller regional sites such as Borgata. These sites often have tighter communities and low stakes, multi-table tournaments. Also, these sites have good guarantees, making them ideal for dipping into the online poker world.
The Internet Gambling Act of 2001 (UIGEA) forced a number of sites out of the US market. As a result, many operators reported a significant increase in traffic. Several sites found a way to overcome the banking issues that had plagued them. Eventually, the Supreme Court ruled that the Wire Act, a law enacted in 2006, did not apply to online gambling.
While the Supreme Court decision has provided an air of legitimacy to the online gambling industry in the U.S., there are still a number of hurdles that must be cleared before online poker is fully legalized and regulated. Although the state of Delaware has a well-developed online poker market, its laws only apply to people within its boundaries. Likewise, Nevada was one of the first states to pass legislation for online poker.
While the Internet gambling industry has come a long way since its heyday in the late 1990s, there is still a lot of room for improvement. If you want to experience the benefits of online poker, you should do your research before signing up.