The history of real money Texas Holdem in the USA can be murky, because federal and state authorities have changed gaming laws often in the past 10 years.
Besides that, law enforcement agencies have changed policies on a whim during the same span.
With several electronic cash payment services being targeted by United States gaming agencies and others removing themselves from the US market because of lingering concern about the same thing happening to them, it’s hard for US online gamblers to know which legitimate poker sites they can make deposits to. For these reasons, we’ve tried to create a story and timeline of the best texas holdem deposit methods in the United States these past few years, while listing the current payment services and casinos which accept US players.
1961 Wire Act
Before we get into a discussion of specific poker deposit options, we should mention the Wire Act of 1961. The Federal Wire Act was enacted in 1961 to make sports betting over the phone lines illegal. The law tried to outlaw sports bookies. For decades, it was the law used to govern and punish illegal sports books. The act was sometimes used to take down mobsters, much like they would be prosecuted for tax fraud when the Feds couldn’t find other ways to put organized crime figures in prison.
The Unlawful Illegal Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)
In 2006, the Unlawful Illegal Gambling Enforcement Act went into effect. The UIGEA was tacked onto the Safe Port Act of September 2006 by the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress. Citing the 1961 Wire Act, UIGEA made most forms of cash transfers for the sake of gambling illegal. Proponents of the use of the UIGEA and the Federal Wire Act to outlaw online gambling in America claim that the Wire Act covers all forms of Internet gambling, while UIGEA opponents assert that the Wire Act only covered sports gambling.
Is the UIGEA Constitutional?
Since the passage of UIGEA, the online poker industry has challenged the law in court. They argue the law is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy and, more specifically, UIGEA only covers sports gambling. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that this argument is correct. But the Supreme Court hasn’t heard or ruled on that decision yet. And the Supreme Court will be the ultimate arbiter of whether UIGEA is constitutional or not, if the Supreme Court ever chooses to see the case.
Online gambling operators haven’t depended solely on the U.S. court system. They took their case to the World Trade Organization. The WTO has ruled that the U.S. laws against online gambling break several treaty obligations the U.S. government had signed in good faith. The American government has subsequently ignored these rulings for years.
Once UIGEA went into effect, many online casinos and Internet cardrooms left the U.S. market. At the same time, many third-party money transfer services sprung up to circumvent UIGEA. The idea is that a casino can’t accept money for gambling from a poker player, so the poker player sends that money to a third-party cash transfer service, while that service sends that money along to the casino.
Third party processing is a murky, unclear, and gray legal area. Funds can be seized at any time, something the Black Friday case of 2011 has underscored to great effect. Many US lawmakers and law enforcement officials would like to score points with the public by outlawing or prosecuting online poker, but some brave souls continue to provide deposit options. Here is a list of poker deposit options along with some observations about the efficacy and the history of each option.
Specialty Poker Room Picks
We plan to populate this section with links to our Texas Holdem rankings pages. Players will find their heaven here, whether they are searching for the loosest poker websites or the most trusted operators in 2018. We will also list websites that have long standing reputation and won’t backfire on you where you can place bets for as low as a quarter. In brief, you will find a lot of poker goodness in this section of the site !