Online Poker Security, Integrity & Legal Issues
In the preceding sections of this chapter of our guide we’ve addressed the issues of cheating at online poker sites and explained why online poker conspiracy theories are just that, theories. Hopefully you agree with us, that online poker rooms simply can’t afford to not have a commitment to fair play. Playing poker online is safe and secure, and in this final part of our online poker guide we’ll hopefully dispel any lingering doubts you might have about playing poker online.
The Safety and Security of Online Poker Sites
Online poker is big business, with millions of dollars at stake each and every day. This makes online poker sites a prime target for fraudsters and other criminals, just like any other business that is involved with large amounts of money (such as banking). In many ways, this helps to makes it even more secure, because the sites are not complacent when it comes to security.
Online poker sites have highly sophisticated security infrastructures in place to thwart potential attacks. While there have been cases of “denial of service” attacks on some sports betting websites in the past, we don’t know of any online poker sites that’ve had their security systems breached. Quite simply, it’s safe to play poker online – if you stick to the reputable online poker rooms, such as those advertised here at Pokerology.com.
The Integrity of Online Poker Sites
Probably the biggest concern that many beginners to online poker have is about depositing money into online poker sites – particularly when many of these sites are based overseas. It’s understandable to be concerned, but again, if you stick with the big name sites (see online poker room reviews) you’ll little to worry about. Many of these sites are certified by regulatory bodies such as the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC). Auditing firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers are also used to ensure their banking and financial affairs are in accordance with generally accepted standards.
Of course, as a discerning online poker player, you have a responsibility to yourself to choose the correct online poker room. If you come across a poker room that you haven’t heard much about, and they’re offering some insane sign up deposit bonus that sounds too good to be true, then proceed with caution. Your money will only as safe as the ethics of the site owners. To be safe, it’s advisable to stick to reputable, established online card rooms such as Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars, Party Poker, and any of the sites listed at Pokerology.com.
The Legality of Online Poker
Online poker is legal and regulated in many countries around the world, such as the United Kingdom. But not all countries have embraced the online gambling industry, and the legality of online poker is a complicated subject matter. Gambling in any way, shape or form is illegal in many countries around the world. Many countries allow state run gambling operations but impose bans on online gambling. Other countries have laws that are unclear, usually because these laws were implemented before the advent of the internet.
The legal situation for online poker in the United States is more than a little confusing. But let’s be clear – it’s not illegal to play poker online according to any federal law. To this day there has never been a case where someone in the United States has been prosecuted for playing online poker. However, it has certainly been made far more difficult for Americans to play poker online, since legislation was introduced in 2006.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), was passed by the United States congress and signed into law by President Bush in October 2006. This law has made it illegal for financial institution to transfer funds to internet gambling sites. Some online poker sites, such as Party Poker, instantly stopped accepting American players, while others continued to accept them. See our U.S. friendly online poker rooms page for more information.
Its worth saying again (because there’s a lot of misinformation on this subject) that the UIGEA doesn’t make online poker illegal for U.S. citizens. But as with any legal issues, it is up to you to understand what your national and local laws are in respect to online gambling and playing poker online.
Remember that online card rooms rely on their reputation in order to attract new customers. If it was ever discovered that an online poker room was cheating by dealing specific cards based on criteria, or failing to prevent cheating, or financial discrepancies, then that poker room would instantly lose a massive chunk of customers – and revenues.
The best online poker rooms are committed to working hard and ensuring fair play on their sites. As has already been mentioned, there are various independent auditing firms and regulatory bodies that are involved in the online poker industry – and they set the standards.
The sites we recommend here at Pokerology.com are, in our opinion, perfectly safe and secure – with a commitment to fair play. So, be sure to read our online poker room reviews, sign up via Pokerology.com and start enjoying online poker!