Georgia is one of the largest states in the USA, with over 10 million residents. Also known as the “peach state,” it has the potential to become one of the biggest markets for online poker. However, there is a great deal of aversion to the gambling industry, and online poker in Georgia may never become a thing.
Today, the United States is in a state of decision-making, with conflicting ideas about gambling from state to state. Some regions that posed a strong opposition to the idea of gambling many years ago have recently toned down their laws or are currently deliberating on ways to make it legal in the coming months or years. Meanwhile, other states, like Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada, have already taken the lead by legalizing online poker.
It is safe to say that there is a great likelihood that Georgia is considering making these laws less strict in the state by opening legal poker rooms for Texas Hold’em, including some others. So, in the near future, they’ll most likely create a friendly online gambling environment, but it will take a cumulative number of crucial steps to achieve this. Presently, Georgia has the strictest laws on gambling in all of the American states.
Even with the discouraging laws against online poker in real money Georgia, residents can still enjoy the best sites for poker in the state.
Poker Sites We Recommend
Recent Happenings in Georgia Regarding Gambling
Opportunities in sports betting were considered by lawmakers in the state in 2019. The general sports betting bill was forwarded to the House of Georgia, which permits a maximum of 10 licenses for sports betting operators within the state. The revenue assumed from the industry would be treated the same way that funds from the Georgia lottery is currently treated: funneled into an educational fund.
This bill currently awaits voters’ approval and has not yet been actualized since it hasn’t gone through the legislative quarters.
History of Gambling in GA
You will be surprised to learn that the now strict Georgia was once a place where betting and gambling ran concurrently. Between the 1800s and 1900s, residents enjoyed real money poker, races, and aesthetic events. Even though these games were available to GA residents, they were illegal and were only permissible based on corruption, as operators often bribed the officials.
Things began to change in the early days of the 20th century, when Thomas Lee Bailey used the Cochran journal to draw the attention of the government to much stricter measures against the practice. Finally, the state followed his recommendations.
It finally happened in the 1930s. During the heat of the Great Depression, Georgia took a step backward on real money gambling, even when other states started to make their laws friendlier. Not much has shifted since this decision was made. It was only in 1992 that regulations were put on lottery ticket sales. Even with the popularity of these tickets among citizens, the state of Georgia has remained adamant about gambling. It prevented the expansion of the market in popular areas, some of which include Georgia online poker. Recently, Georgian authorities have closed down internet cafes that permit patrons to enjoy online poker for real money in Georgia.
Regulated Forms of Gambling in Georgia
There are currently only three regulated options for gambling in GA. They include:
- Charitable bingo
Commercial casinos, pari-mutuel betting, and casino nights are illegal in the state today, so players have to make do with the unattractive offerings from available operators. So, it is not advisable to pitch your tent in GA if you seek to engage with online poker Georgia, cash games, or any other forms of gambling.
Regulations and Laws Against Online Poker Real Money in Georgia
There are currently no laws directed specifically towards GA online poker. However, experts fear that the state will adjust the existing policies to label online poker real money Georgia and Georgia online poker as criminal offenses.
The list below is a summary of Georgia’s anti-gambling laws that stand out in 2022. Reading through the list alone isn’t enough; you need to seek legal counsel to know the full implications that come with these laws in GA.
- Note that GA laws don’t define gambling. But we can make deductions by combining the organic definitions of gambling places, devices, and bets.
- Section 16-12-20 (1) defines “bets” as agreements that solely depend on chance, even if some skill is applied, and that people lose something of value when they place bets. This implies that games that require some skill, such as Texas Hold’em and other available poker variants, either online or offline, are considered offensive.
- Section 16-12-20 (2) declares gambling devices to be contrivances that aid players with the opportunity of getting valuable things, regardless of the player’s skill.
- The law also declares gambling places to be a room, building, property, or any piece of real estate designated solely for betting. What completes this definition is the placement of wagers in these buildings.
- The law also declares gambling over balls, cards, or dice, as well as poker betting, a criminal offense and will charge anyone who undertakes any such action with a misdemeanor.
The laws are clear regarding playing poker in any capacity, whether in a poker room or online. It is safe to conclude that there is nothing like legal online poker in Georgia today.
It is a criminal offense, according to GA penal codes, to play any game involving staking money or any other valuable thing on gambling or online poker real money Georgia. We cannot fully grasp the degree to which these laws are enforced in the state; however, you can be sure that anyone who engages in online poker real money in Georgia or any other similar games will face the weight of the law.
Is It Safe to Play Online Poker in Georgia?
Every online poker site must follow the regulations provided by licensing bodies. The popular ones are Kahnawake and Malta, which accredit most poker rooms serving the American market. Since only a few states have permitted online gambling—and these states will not allow players from outside these regions to play online—players must find other means.
The best way to enjoy online poker in Georgia without committing a criminal offense is to sign up with a site that isn’t registered in the United States; there are many of these available today.
To ensure your safety on these sites, you will need to verify that they are licensed internationally and check the reviews to see if every part of their service is secure. Most of the popular gaming sites for poker pass these tests and must remain current in terms of safety to stay accredited.
Online Poker in Georgia: Available Varieties
The next thing you need to do after you have chosen a suitable online poker site is to go to the game lobby and surf through every available poker variation. Standard international websites help players to easily navigate the available games and access many other poker game variants.
Omaha and Texas Hold’em are the most common games on these sites, but you may also stumble upon other multiplayer poker game types that give you an edge. Players with modern play styles are also welcome on these poker sites. Some of which include a much faster variation of well-loved games and others, like 7 Card Stud.
Ultimately, these games offer tables that accommodate every player’s desires, so players can enjoy the games without having to break the bank or encounter high table limits. The stakes start at low limits of $0.01/$0.02 to $1.00/$2.00. Intermediate players get much higher stake amounts. There are also more opportunities for regular players as they enjoy stakes well above $1000.
Where Can You Play Online Poker in GA?
Looking at the laws in Georgia, we can conclude that the policies are not directly against online poker in Georgia. So, there are still many opportunities available to players in the state, with each of the different sites providing unique gaming opportunities and benefits. So, if you’re asking “is online poker legal in Georgia?” then the answer remains NO! However, if your query is “how to play online poker in Georgia,” then you are in luck. The list below contains our recommended sites for you for 2022.
The best US poker sites for GA players include:
- Bovada Poker
- Everygame Poker
- Americas Cardroom
- SportsBetting Poker
- BlackChip Poker
- BetOnline Poker
- Ignition Poker
Before playing at any of these sites, ensure you have read through their terms and conditions, as they do change from time to time. To get the most accurate information about these sites, it’s best to go to the websites directly.
What You Should Look Out For in an Online Poker Site?
The gambling industry in the USA market is growing, with tons of revenue generated across all the states where the laws are permissible. The various poker sites across the country offer great gaming options—including Georgia, even with its strict regulations.
The truth is that the regulation placed by the state has not been effective as locals still enjoy online real money Georgia at the available online poker rooms. If you need to select an online poker site, here are a few criteria to consider:
- The kinds of games you want to play
There are many options available for players interested in Georgia online gambling. Each site provides a unique variety of games, though some websites offer better games than their counterparts. Before you sign up with a poker site, it is best to check out the games they provide to prevent regrets. Nothing is as heartbreaking as making a deposit and then finding out that your desired game isn’t available on the site. Luckily, most of the websites in the state give a concise list of the games they offer, so you won’t be in the dark regarding what games are available to you.
- 24/7 customer support
There is a high likelihood that you will have little or no issues when you deal with a reputable site that offers online poker real money in Georgia. It is assured that you will get feedback from the technical team if you run into any issues. So, this feature is paramount when you wish to choose an online poker site in Georgia. Some of the best sites have live chat support, and those that offer direct phone support services are also a great option.
- Easy and safe payment methods
Accredited online poker sites must pass significant scrutiny to have their license. Make sure that the website you wish to sign up with has safe and secure payment methods. Check what the customers are saying about their experience with deposits and withdrawals.
Ensure you make your deposits by using a credible debit card. The poker sites available today also allow the use of Bitcoin, which is highly recommended. Also, look out for fees charged on payouts and deposits. Finally, ensure there will be no delays when you withdraw and that you always get your cash when you request it.
- Promotional offers
Poker sites that operate with Georgia offer players regular bonuses and promotions. The benefits of these promotions vary from site to site. The most common ones are welcome bonuses, which encourage new players to remain on the site. With welcome bonuses, players get a certain amount of funds sent to their account when they make their first deposit.
Generally, a good site offers good and credible promotions, but a bad one does the exact opposite. It is well worth researching the promotions offered by poker sites in Georgia before playing GA online poker. Nothing beats the bliss that comes with getting some free money!
Benefits of Playing Online Poker Real Money Georgia
Playing poker online in Georgia compared to driving down to Florida to do the same is a good reason for players to choose the former. There are many other benefits to consider:
- Game selection
If you step into any of the online poker rooms offering online poker in Georgia, you will find the three most popular poker games: Seven-card Stud, Omaha, and Texas Hold’em. Many other casinos offer games on request or have a wide range of other games, some of which don’t pique the interest of players.
In Georgia, the question of playing poker on another person’s schedule has been solved. That is not the case for certain other live poker rooms that function only during working hours. The accessibility of online poker is 24/7, all year round. So, you can play during off-peak hours, at midnight, and any other time that is convenient for you. You just need to have enough other players online to play against.
When you decide to play live, you will discover that there is no limit to the available poker tournaments. Some tournament series also provide great prize pools. The issue with these live tournaments is the frequency of their weekly and daily operations. Some cardrooms operate twice a week or two times a day, and their series function less frequently than that.
Online poker real money Georgia sites have many tournaments every day, so players can obtain lots of SNGs and over 100 MTTs.
Live poker can be boring. That’s something you will find out sooner or later. There aren’t many hands available every hour, so you need to fold the ones you get. This gets boring since you will need to spend valuable time waiting.
With Georgia online poker, you can easily play at one or more tables at a time. The number of tables available is dependent on the site. However, most of the credible legal online poker in Georgia allow players to play at four tables at the very least. This is sufficient for anyone who hasn’t gotten a feel for multi-tables before. It also kills two birds with one stone by improving your win rates and killing boredom.
The Future of Online Gambling in GA
The laws against gambling in Georgia are unlikely to change in 2022. Rather, it is rumored that they will become stricter, and the chances that otherwise will happen are as slim as winning the lottery. However, with it being a good source of revenue for the state, the funds generated can help to improve the educational system in Georgia, so it is likely that this will encourage the state to ease these restrictive laws.
How Can I Play Poker GA Online Poker?
You can play on the available sites listed in this article. All you need to do is sign up and make a deposit. However, be aware that you need to check the terms and conditions before selecting any site to use.
Does Georgia Allow Residents to Play Online Poker?
No. Even though the strict laws haven’t been fully followed recently, it is still a criminal offense to engage in any gambling activity in the state.
Which Poker Sites Are the Best in Georgia?
After considering issues like licensing, safety, ease of withdrawals and deposits, customer support, and good customer reviews, you are likely to choose a good site. Check the article to see the recommended ones.
Can Players Open More than One Poker Account?
There is no restriction on how many accounts you can have. It is safe to have at least two accounts on all of the recommended sites to play online poker in Georgia.