Utah has some of the strictest laws in the whole of the Union when it comes to gambling. Gambling is incredibly, a Class B misdemeanor and can even be a Class A if you have prior gambling offences. Utah considers gambling in the penal code as, "risking anything of value for a return or risking anything of value upon the outcome of a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device when the return or outcome is based upon an element of chance.” The key part of this definition is that although some argue that poker is a game of skill then we all have to admit that there is an 'element' of chance and that is what makes poker illegal in the state of Utah. There is one law that mentions online poker, and it's a strange one that appears to make playing from home on your computer just fine, which many players do at sites such as BetOnline Poker. Keep on reading to see where you stand when trying to get a game of poker in Utah.
Playing Home Games in Utah
The law above does apply to home games and the state of Utah offers no flexibility on this. In most states you can get a home game if it's held with a private residence, all players are of a legal age and no-one is making a profit from charging a fee or raking the pot, but not in Utah. These strict gambling laws do not seem set to change anytime in the near future possibly due to the states Mormon population. The religious leaning of a high percentage of the state will make it very difficult to pass any law regarding the easing up on gambling.
Playing Online Poke in Utah
Strangely and some conversely it does appear that online poker is actually legal in Utah. There is only one law in the penal code that mentions anything about online gambling and it's a weird one. In Utah it is forbidden to for passengers on any train that is operated by the transit authority to gamble online. Apart from that there is nothing at all mentioned and there has never been anyone prosecuted for online gambling. With their being no law at federal level then residents of Utah are free to take to the virtual felt and there are many online poker rooms that do accept them. These include Americas Cardroom, BetOnline Poker and Carbon Poker, all of which offer outstanding poker rooms that many players around the globe enjoy.
Playing Poker in a Utah Casino
Utah has no real casinos, and the establishments that they class as casinos are really bingo clubs. Bingo is in fact OK under certain circumstances and many bingo clubs have sprung up but you won't find anything other than bingo available. If the day ever comes when casinos become legal and fully regulated then there would be a lot of tax revenue to be made for the state as the bingo clubs are proving extremely popular.