Which States Have Legal Poker Sites in the United States?
Federal laws allow US states to draft their own laws regarding online poker.
Six US states allow legal, regulated online poker. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, and Delaware offer access to legal poker sites, and West Virginia has laws in place to eventually launch online poker.
Online poker sites can only legally operate in states with explicit iGaming regulations in place. The US legal poker landscape includes industry giants like WSOP.com, 888poker, partypoker, and PokerStars.
The US platforms offered by these brands function as US-only poker sites, not linked to any player pools outside of the US. You must be located within a state that offers legal online poker to play at a regulated poker site.
PokerStars Michigan, for example, can only be accessed by players located in Michigan.
Michigan joined the legal online gambling industry in the US in January 2021. Michigan’s iGaming products include online sports betting, casinos, and poker.
PokerStars Michigan became the first regulated poker site to launch in Michigan, going live in January 2021. The platform offers Michigan players the familiar PokerStars lineup of tournaments and cash games.
Michigan lawmakers have already passed an interstate gambling bill, which opens up the possibility of PokerStars MI eventually joining other PokerStars US sites in a shared player pool. For now, PokerStars MI is limited to Michigan-only competition.
Shortly after PokerStars, BetMGM Poker launched in Michigan as the second legal site. Partner with the MGM Grand in Detroit and backed by the MGM name, the poker site is part of a trio of gaming platforms available to Michigan players, along with the BetMGM Casino and BetMGM Sportsbook. The BetMGM Poker app uses the same underlying technology and platform as partypoker, which is available in New Jersey.
New Jersey launched regulated online poker in November 2013. WSOP.com, 888poker, and partypoker all went live in New Jersey that month, and all three poker sites still operate in the Garden State.
PokerStars NJ joined the New Jersey market in March 2016, marking a return to the US for the world’s largest online poker operator.
WSOP New Jersey
The WSOP.com platform allows players from New Jersey and Nevada to compete against each other in a shared player pool. The WSOP network also connects to the 888poker Delaware network.
WSOP.com offers New Jersey players the chance to play in World Series of Poker bracelet events each summer.
888poker New Jersey
888poker and WSOP share the same 888-powered software, but 888poker New Jersey doesn’t link to the WSOP.com network.
You must be located within New Jersey borders to play at 888poker NJ.
Partypoker US Network
The partypoker US Network includes partypoker NJ, BetMGM, and Borgata Poker. All of those skins link to the same player network.
The partypoker US Network is limited to New Jersey-only competition for now, but partypoker could expand to a multi-state network in the future.
PokerStars returned to US shores with the launch of PokerStars New Jersey in 2016. The platform offers a New Jersey-only version of the brand’s signature Championship of Online Poker twice per year.
PokerStars NJ doesn’t share player pools with PokerStars’ Pennsylvania or Michigan platforms, but that could change soon.
Pennsylvania approved online poker as part of a significant gambling expansion for the state in 2017. Only one online poker site (PokerStars PA) currently operates in Pennsylvania, but other operators expect to join the market in the coming months.
PokerStars PA launched in November 2019 as Pennsylvania’s first state-regulated poker site. The Pennsylvania platform marks the second state in which PokerStars launched after returning to the US market.
Pennsylvania laws don’t currently allow interstate gambling. Lawmakers would have to pass new legislation for PokerStars PA to join PokerStars’ other US sites in a potential multi-state online poker agreement.
Coming Soon To Pennsylvania
Partypoker/BetMGM, WSOP/888, and GGPoker all received approval for launch in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The partypoker/BetMGM and WSOP/888 sites should launch within the next year. GGPoker might take longer to get up and running, but at some point, Pennsylvania should host no less than four different legal online poker sites.
Nevada hosts the world’s most famous gambling destination, but poker in the Silver State isn’t just limited to the live poker rooms of Las Vegas.
Named after the World Series of Poker, WSOP.com Nevada launched in September 2013. WSOP Nevada currently functions as the state’s only regulated online poker site.
WSOP Nevada, WSOP New Jersey, and the 888poker Delaware network share player pools. The WSOP/888 US network operates as the only multi-state poker site in the US.
Players on WSOP Nevada and WSOP New Jersey can compete in World Series of Poker online events each year. In 2020, WSOP.com hosted the World Series of Poker Main Event for the first time ever, as COVID-19 considerations prompted WSOP to move the Main Event online.