It's hard to interpret the laws regarding poker in Pennsylvania and whilst home games have been busted the judges of the state seem to be on the players side. It's all a bit strange and often in the courts and at present the issue of whether or not poker is a game of chance is being debated. There are certain rules that are clear for all to read however these may be changed soon, however playing online poker seems to be just fine and many residents of Pennsylvania do so at places such as: AmericasCardroom, Bovada Poker.
Take a read of below to find out what the current situation is when playing poker in the state of Pennsylvania.
Playing Home Games in Pennsylvania
As mentioned poker is a hot topic in Pennsylvania and often a subject of debate. At present there are three factors to consider when looking at gambling in Pennsylvania and they are consideration, chance and reward, and of course it's the chance part that is always up for scrutiny. In 2009 however Judge Thomas James ruled that skill was a material element of the game of poker and that, “money flows from bad players to good players.” This was however at a county court and the supreme court would have to make a similar ruling for it to stand state wide. So can you play at home? It's still unclear and it's advised to use caution and maybe even ask your local law enforcement agency where you stand.
Playing Online Poker in Pennsylvania
There is no law at present regarding online poker in the state of Pennsylvania and whether it is legal or not has never been discussed. With such ambiguity regarding home games we can only assume that the same rules apply and that caution be taken. The state has no law in place against it and there is no law at federal level, but it would be against the law to operate an online poker room anywhere within state borders. The UIGEA in 2006 was aimed at banks and financial transaction and this is often misunderstood by many people thinking that online poker is illegal...it is not. Many residents of Pennsylvania enjoy a game of online poker and are welcomed at rooms such as Carbon Poker, BetOnline Poker and Americas Cardroom.
Playing in a Pennsylvania Casino
Until very recently this would have been a big no. However with recent changes in the law due to that fact that Pennsylvania was losing out on huge revenue to neighboring states now it's all legal and very popular indeed. There are some fine casinos in the state of Pennsylvania and many of them have outstanding poker schedules offering cash games and tournaments of many varieties. The casinos are modern establishments and offer great entertainment including all types of table games, slots and more.