October 05, 2011 04:33 ET Explains Legal Situation of Poker in Different Countries

When it comes to online poker, every country has its own set of laws. covers the legal issues surrounding poker in some of the countries.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2011) - One of the most confusing things that a person who wishes to play online poker faces is the legality of online poker in his/her region. Every country has its own set of laws related to playing online poker and these countries may either allow or disallow a player to access poker sites. gives a brief idea about the legality of online poker in different countries.

Coming to the USA, the legal situation of online poker in the country is a rather tense one, given the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) that was passed in 2006 and even more since the April 15 2011 closure on major poker sites. While the earlier bill only placed restrictions on online gambling, the more recent step taken by the US government effectively shut down three of the major poker sites and revoked their licenses. Many professional poker players in the US are now stranded with no option to play poker online. Many well known poker sites have also withdrawn from the US. Another press release explains the US online poker legislative situation.

Despite the crackdown on poker sites by the US, online poker is still legal in its neighboring country Canada. In fact, many poker pros from the US have made the decision to migrate to Canada so that they can continue to play poker online for money, which has become their main source of income. Online gambling is also legal in many countries in and around the Caribbean Sea and the island nations of Antigua and Barbuda are one of the major places for licensing of internet gambling sites.

In the European nations, the laws regarding online poker vary from one country to another, but most countries generally allow playing this game for money online. The only exception here is Russia, which effectively prohibits online gambling and any form of gambling that relies on telecommunications technology.

The UK is perhaps one of the most liberal nations when it comes to online poker. The country's poker industry is overseen and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. The laws in the UK, however, apply only to the operators of poker sites and not to the players, which means that avid poker enthusiasts and punters are free to play at any poker site.

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