When playing online poker, you are required to give out some personal information. While offshore sites don’t have to respect players’ privacy, those within the United States have to keep information private. This is important because regulated sites are required to pay taxes on the revenues they make from online poker games. Furthermore, they must not sell player information to third parties.
The first online poker site to offer real money games was Planet Poker, founded in 1998. The first game was played for real money in January 1998. In October 1999, author Mike Caro became the “face” of Planet Poker. Today, there are many online poker websites, including 888, PartyPoker, and PokerStars.
Although US law does not explicitly ban online poker, it has many of the same issues as online casino gambling. Many countries, including the United Kingdom, regulate online poker. However, in North Dakota, the State Senate blocked an online poker measure in March 2005. In the US, online poker is legal in many countries, including many Caribbean countries. In the United States, the US Department of Justice claimed that online gambling was illegal, but many legal experts have argued otherwise.
The US has legalized online poker in a number of states and other states are considering it. Online poker operators that operate outside of these states are considered illegal. Even some of the regulated operators only operate in one or two states. However, operators that operate in a regulated state must have a license to operate there. Once a site is licensed, US residents are allowed to play real money poker.
Regulation of online poker sites has made the game safer for players. Before, players faced the risk of rogue employees cheating to win. In one scandal, a large sum of money was lost. Thankfully, some players recovered some of their losses. With the right regulations in place, such cheating scandals are virtually impossible.
Another advantage of online poker over brick-and-mortar casinos is the ability to play multiple tables at once. Players in brick-and-mortar casinos can only play one table at a time. By contrast, players in online poker rooms can play many tables at the same time and earn up to $24/hour.
It is possible that some online poker websites are rigged, but most reputable online poker sites aren’t guilty of such a crime. The companies behind these sites have too much to lose by cheating. Moreover, modern players can use poker database software to keep track of every hand. Some online poker sites don’t allow such tracking programs, but legitimate ones will allow hand histories.