Georgia is in no way a great state to play poker, or indeed to partake in any other form of gambling. Written into Georgia's penal code, section 16-12-21 states, “A person commits the offense of gambling when he plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards”. Should you break this particular law then you could face a misdemeanor charge, which is not such a big thing but not really something you want on your record. Many residents of Georgia regularly play online poker at places such as Americas Cardroom and there is no mention of online poker in the penal code.
But What About Online Poker?
Like many states there is no law that states playing poker online is illegal in any way in Georgia. However many observers have jokingly, or maybe not so jokingly commented that it was only a matter of time before they updated their law to include making online poker illegal. When playing online, or thinking about playing online, it must be remembered that as there is no law to break and no agency to even monitor such a law. There is also no law at federal level, nor is there likely to be one in the near future, or even at all, so it comes as no surprise that many residents of Georgia enjoy a game of online poker whenever they care to do so. There are many online poker rooms that cater for them too, the best being Full Flush Poker, Americas Cardroom and Betonline Poker.
Playing a Home Game in Georgia
In most states you may play a quiet home game as long as you do not make a profit by raking the pot or charging a fee, however this is not the case in Georgia. The law clearly states that a gambling place is any real estate used for the purposes of gambling and this does include your home. By law if you get caught hosting a poker game you could be charged with operating a place of gambling, however it is likely that the charges would be lessened. We do not believe that these laws are strictly enforced and have never heard of anyone getting into trouble for hosting or playing in a home game in Georgia.
Playing Poker in Georgia's Casinos
Sadly for residents of Georgia, because of the laws there is not one legally operating casino in the state. There are no slot machines anywhere and for this reason residents often make the trip to North and South Carolina, Mississippi or even over to Vegas. The only exception to the no gambling rule comes in the shape of the state run lottery. There is pressure to legalize at least some form of gambling within state borders and many residents feel that it is only a matter of time before this happens.