Virtual Online Poker Cardrooms: Gambling Under US Federal Law?


Peer to peer iPoker as conducted on the worldwide internet has received much attention given the ever-increasing popularity of the game across the globe.

Questions over the legality of such virtual online poker cardrooms has also been widely-debated. Typically, those legal debates have focused upon the amount of skill in poker and whether it predominates over elements of chance in the game, thus taking poker out of the realm of gambling under the vast majority of legal schemes. The skill versus chance assessment is indeed a formidable argument in favor of poker as a game of skill. It has been persuasively and successfully argued in several jurisdictions worldwide. And, of course, it is near and dear to poker players everywhere who vigorously and passionately argue that poker is a game of skill.

Obviously, skill is the proverbial “sexiest” argument for poker; and is no doubt the most persuasive. But from the standpoint of those site operators who host such online poker cardrooms – those virtual tables where players meet to test their skills against one another -- it is only one of many in poker’s potent legal arsenal. This article takes a close look at another: are such virtual cardrooms “engaged in the business of betting and wagering” under US Federal Law?

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ian Imrich, Law Offices of Ian J. Imrich, APC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Law Offices of Ian J. Imrich, APC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.