Online poker is regulated in some states, and more are considering it. Poker sites must obtain licenses in different jurisdictions before accepting players from those states. The laws and regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the general rule is that players from the regulated states are allowed to play with real money. An American citizen can open an account with a regulated site and play for real money if they are physically located in that state. Several states have strict laws governing the use of online poker, so be aware of the laws in your area.
While many US states have legalized online poker, these laws do not apply to online poker. The states of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have made gambling sites legal. West Virginia and Michigan have also legalized online gambling and are expected to launch online poker sites in the early 2020s. The United States has also allowed online poker sites to operate outside of these states, such as Global Poker, which utilizes a sweepstakes model and is available in all 50 states.
Delaware was the first US state to legalize online poker. Delaware offers online poker games through sites operated by Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway. These sites run 888poker software. West Virginia made online poker legal in 2019 and is currently issuing gaming licenses to online poker operators. The first WV poker sites will be up and running in the near future. However, this is still far from the end of the road.