Several states allow online poker, but Connecticut is the only one that does not yet have a legal online poker platform. The state’s legislature has not yet passed a bill to establish a state-run online poker platform, but there is a possibility that the state could enter into a shared liquidity agreement with another state. This would create a pool of players for the Connecticut-based poker sites to use, potentially drawing in larger player pools and more traffic.
Online poker is legal in the United States in four states: Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In addition to allowing residents to use these platforms, players in these states are not punished for making deposits or withdrawals to these sites. Some poker sites require players to convert funds when they deposit, but there are also a few sites that allow players to make payments in a variety of currencies.
Since the United States does not have any legal jurisdiction over foreign-based platforms, online poker players in the US are not prosecuted for accessing offshore sites. However, there are some risks associated with accessing foreign-based platforms. Some sites require players to convert their money to U.S. dollars, and some sites are regulated and require that they invest their players’ money in the business. This means that some sites are more susceptible to fraud than others.
The only real hope for online poker in Connecticut is for the state to enter into a shared liquidity agreement with another regulated state. However, this is unlikely to happen. Connecticut has a small population of 3.5 million people, and the state does not have a lot of potential market for online poker. Unless the state can enter into a multi-state agreement with other states, online poker in Connecticut is likely to be limited to mobile play.
If online poker does get introduced in Connecticut, it may not be for a number of years. In the interim, however, it is likely that the state will have no regulated online poker at all. Connecticut’s lawmakers are interested in finding ways to share liquidity opportunities with other states. They also may look to create shared networks across state lines, which could gather larger player pools. But they are waiting for a final ruling from the Justice Department on the Wire Act.
The new administration may take a different approach to online poker. During a campaign visit to Las Vegas in December, President-elect Biden stated that he would reverse the White House’s opinion and allow states to expand online gambling. While Biden has not indicated any plans to appeal the last court decision, the new administration may decide to revert the Wire Act to its previous interpretation. This could slow the growth of the online poker industry in all states.
Although no operators have yet set up shop in West Virginia, this state has a population of just over 1.8 million. It is unlikely that an online poker operator will set up a site there.