U.S. Online Poker Banned State(s) List

There are seven states that are restricted by major U.S. facing online poker networks.  Washington D.C. is also restricted by some U.S.-friendly poker sites.  There is a reason that each of these states and territories are excluded from some online poker rooms and we’ll briefly break down each according to state.

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Kentucky is an odd online gambling state.  While there is no law that specifically addresses online poker, its Governor filed suit against 141 domain owner that it alleged illegally accepted bets from residents.  Party Poker eventually settled, while PokerStars continues its fight.  Many other companies on the list either went bankrupt or moved to a .eu domain.  Several online gambling companies decided to exclude Kentucky residents due to this legal action.  The Merge Gaming Network and Revolution Gaming Network both exclude Kentucky players.  This includes Cake Poker, Juicy Stakes, Intertops, Sportsbook.com, PlayersOnly, Carbon Poker and Aced.

Kentucky online poker players are lucky to have the two fastest paying online poker networks available to them.  Bovada, which pays players within 1-2 days by Western Union or about one week by check, accepts Kentucky players.  The Winning Poker Network, which pays just as fast, also accepts players from the state.  Americas Cardroom and True Poker are the most well known names on the Winning Poker Network.


Louisiana Law makes it explicitly illegal to play online poker.  The crime of “Gambling by Computer” is a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.  While Louisiana has unsuccessfully tried to pursue online gambling operators, there has never been a case against a player.  Bovada and the Merge Gaming Network do not accept players from Louisiana due to this law.  The Winning Poker Network, which includes Americas Cardroom, has yet to exclude players from the state.


Maryland does not have any laws that specifically address online gambling.  Unfortunately for online poker players, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland has partnered with local law enforcement in an attempt to shut down online gambling operators in the state on multiple occasions.  The Blue Monday Indictments, which included the Winning Poker Network and a number of processors and betting companies, left Maryland players out in the cold.  Bovada is the only recommended site available to online poker players in Maryland.


Like Maryland, Missouri does not have any laws that pertain to online gambling.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Missouri feels otherwise.  Peter Dicks of BetOnSports was the most notable subject of this action.  For this reason, Intertops and the Merge Gaming Network do not accept players from Missouri.  Bovada, Revolution Gaming and Merge Gaming continue to accept players from this state.

New York

New York state law covers a number of organized gambling situations.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York was the lead in the Black Friday indictments that forced PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker out of the U.S. market.  Due to this law enforcement effort, Bovada, Revolution Gaming and Merge Gaming all avoid the New York State market.  The Winning Poker Network is still available to New York players.  This includes Americas Cardroom.


Utah lawmakers banned all forms of online gambling in 2012.  This same law requires the state to automatically opt out of all forms of federal online gambling.  Bovada, Revolution Gaming and Merge Gaming all left the market after this action.  Existing players were allowed to play at all of these rooms, but new players were not accepted.  Once again, the Winning Poker Network with its flagship Americas Cardroom still accepts new players from Utah.

Washington State

Washington State passed a law that makes all forms of online gambling a felony, even for players.  Operators face the same wrath.  For this reason, no major online poker rooms accept Washington online poker players.

Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. was poised to become the first U.S. jurisdiction to allow regulated online poker.  Online poker would have been allowed between 10am and 4am.  The Washington D.C. Lottery would have been the regulator for this new industry.  This bill was eventually repealed.

Whether it has to do with this repealed legislation or the fact the federal government operates in the same jurisdiction Merge Gaming does not accept players from Washington D.C.  Neither does the Winning Poker Network.  Bovada still welcomes players from the District of Colombia.