Regulated Poker Sites - Covering Online Poker Regulation And Where To Play

There are some situations in which government involvement is helpful, such as in providing licensing and certification standards for the online gambling industry, including overseeing regulated poker sites. In this particular industry, government supervision, whether it is federal or state regulation, is what ensures that we have secure, legitimate and legal poker rooms operating on the Internet. This guide will provide you with insight on the role that government regulation plays in the online poker industry, what it means for both US and international players, and the ways that both state and federal regulation affects players and the online poker sites themselves. We have created this resource guide so that players can understand and then navigate the complex maze that is legal online poker as well informed players able to make well informed decisions regarding your poker playing online.

Top Regulated Poker Room

Best Legally Regulated Online Poker Sites For USA Players

Poker Site Name License Jurisdiction Current Bonus Offer USA Accepted?
WSOP Poker License Certification You must reside within Nevada state borders in order to play for real money at WSOP. 100% Match Bonus Up To $400 Yes - NV Only
Bovada Poker License Certification Bovada is licensed and regulated in Kahnawake Canada - all USA players accepted. 100% Up To $1000 Free Yes Most States
Betonline Poker License Certification Betonline is licensed and regulated in Panama City Panama - all USA players accepted. 200% Match Bonus Up To $2500 Yes All US States

How Does Government Regulation Affect The Online Poker Industry?

For players who were inconvenienced by the poker industry's 'Black Friday' a few years back, government regulation may sound unappealing. However, the industry has survived and is stronger from that somewhat painful experience. One of the primary objectives of regulatory oversight in this industry is to provide licensing and certification functions, and oversee all of those poker sites to ensure they maintain the licensing requirements to which they are accountable and that they maintain compliance certification standards at all times. The various governing bodies employ agents to oversee, audit and enforce these responsibilities on their behalf. Because this type of online gambling regulation exists, players have options that include trustworthy and safe poker room brands The first thing we do when we start the review process for any online gambling site is verify their licensing and certifications, and confirm which governing body provides regulatory oversight for that particular gambling site's operation. We are well aware of the respected and legitimate governing jurisdictions as opposed to the undesirable regions out there. Here are a few of the elements that government regulation monitors in online gambling when a site is deemed to have met minimum licensing requirements:

- Regular auditing and testing of the poker site's software, including extensive testing of RNG technology, as well as the features and performance of the platform.

- Regular and unannounced auditing and testing of the brand's fair gaming practices to ensure that they are operating within the confines of the law.

- Strict regulatory oversight concerning how online gambling transactions can be processed. For USA friendly gambling sites, this means that the UIGEA bill of 2006 applies to their banking suite and requires that they meet specific standards for not only processing transactions but also for providing effective protection for your funds and your personal sensitive data. Non-US gambling sites have their own specific set of laws which must be adhered and to which they are strictly accountable for.

- Regular verification that minimum security standards and requirements are being met. In this category the poker sites must maintain a certain level of integrity in keeping up with industry standards regarding security protocols and policies. This ensures that the poker sites or any online gambling site which is licensed cannot allow their security technology to become outdated and ineffective.

As you can see, these are all functions that are favorable to players in that they ensure that the gaming environment is safe and secure, and that the Internet poker sites are operating fairly, effectively and with integrity. Without this type of government regulation, the online poker gambling arena would be a much more dangerous place for players.

Are There Any USA Legal Sites?

There are a couple of different types of options available to players in the United States. An update recently reported over at confirms that there are a few states now Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, which have legalized online poker for their residents. These online poker rooms are licensed and regulated by their respective state governments and fall under the state regulated gambling sites umbrella. This has been a definitive form of progress for US based online gambling initiatives, and has provided residents of those three states with legal, state regulated and licensed online poker sites at which to play. To enjoy these specific online gambling sites, players must be physically located within the state's boundaries in order to be an eligible player. Location verification technology employed by these sites is able to verify a player's eligibility based on where they are. As of this writing, there are approximately 8-10 states considering their own legislation that would legalize some type of online gambling for their respective territories, including quite a bit of progress concerning California regulated poker.

For American players who do not live in one of these states, there are legally licensed and certified online poker sites which are located outside of the United States. These sites are regulated by a governing jurisdiction which has already legalized online poker for their regions and can therefore offer their services to players anywhere they want, including poker players in the United States. These sites are legitimately operating within the industry, and are subject to strict regulatory oversight that is just as comprehensive and effective as the state regulation you find here in the US. I personally participate at several of these types of legal online poker sites and have found that they offer a premium online poker gambling experience. There are not any federal laws which prohibit USA players from participating in legally licensed online poker gambling, so you are not breaking any US online poker laws by participating in online poker at an offshore Internet poker site as long as it is legitimately licensed and regulated.

How Will I Know If A Poker Site Is Legally Regulated Or Not?

I hope all players are asking this question as you should never ever consider playing poker online at a website which you are not 100% sure is licensed and compliance certified, and subject to regulatory oversight by a respected jurisdiction. In fact, we consider it the number one critical element when we are putting any poker room through our stringent review process. The easiest way to be sure about this is to rely on the input of industry processionals, such as the team that created this resource guide. We have a combined range of experience in the online poker industry that spans decades, and we can determine a brand's legitimacy within the industry very quickly, and we are well aware of which governing jurisdictions are worth considering. We can navigate this type of information with precision whereas the novice player may not know exactly what to look for. Some sites make it extremely transparent and easy to find, such as Bovada Poker which offers players the opportunity to view their certificate of good standing with the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Other sites are legally licensed; however it's a little more challenging to locate the documentation at times. As industry professionals we know where to look and sometimes have access to information not everyone else does. You can be sure that any brand that is listed in this guide is legally licensed, certified, and government regulated.

If you choose to find the information out on your own, you will need to do some research, and verify what you are told by any online poker brand with the gaming authority or commission which administers that site's licensing and regulation. It is sad, but there are unscrupulous online gambling operations out there which effectively and fraudulently falsify this type of information counting on the fact that you won't verify it. With a good graphic artist, its not that hard to do actually. This is why relying on industry professionals is optimal.

Locating Reputable Online Poker Sites That Are Legally Licensed

As mentioned previously, we place each brand we list in our guide through a very intense review process that effectively determines their legitimacy and value within the industry. These sites all hold legal licensed and compliance certifications from either state regulation or government regulation originating outside of the U.S.A. Not only are they all legally operating, they each offer players an authentic poker gaming experience that includes a robust, feature rich, and user friendly interface, a consistent, reliable and if desired, ultra fast performance, great tournament schedules and game access, and substantial game menus. You will see in the information below we have included their current bonus offers and promotions so that you can determine at a glance which brand might be offering the most bang for your buck. We suggest playing a few rounds for free at any of the sites you are interested in. This gives you an opportunity to see how you like their interface and game selection prior to any real money wagers.