US Online Poker Rooms
The US Government has made it very clearly that since Black Friday (April 15, 2010), they do not want any US citizen playing online poker. So, as of right now, if you live in the US, you should not be playing poker online for real money. Many of the largest sites do still offer play money accounts to United States citizens, but they will Not let you deposit money and play for real money. And until the Federal Government or State Governments start to legalize and regulate online poker (which they are currently working on), US citizens appear to be out of luck.
Online Poker in the United States
In 2006, the United States government passed the UIGEA which made it illegal for US financial institutions to transfer funds from online poker sites. It does not explicitly prohibit online poker or playing at online poker sites for US poker players.
As a result of the law, many rooms that accepted US poker players before were now not accepting them. Top poker sites like Party Poker and Interpoker, which are owned by companies listed on the world-wide stock exchanges, feared they may be prosecuted by the US government for accepting USA players to play in their poker rooms. Many of the private companies like Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars continued to accept US players and actually started marketing aggressively to these players in an attempt to pick up some of the market share that Party Poker had left behind.
Future of Poker in the US
Obviously no one knows for certain what the future may hold for online poker rooms in the USA. We do know there are some active efforts by various politicians to help repeal the UIGEA legislation and help make clear definitions of the legality of poker in the United States.
Countries like the UK have already taken the initiative to legalize online poker and to reap some of the benefits from taxation. The tiny island nation of Antigua has put pressure on the US for its uncertain stance on internet gambling and has won a number of World Trade Organization disputes with the US, arguing that their actions have hurt Antigua’s economy. (Antigua is home to a number of Online Poker companies).