Playing mobile poker in the United States has become extremely difficult over the years, thanks to legislation that banned the game as a form of unlawful Internet gambling rather than the game of skill that it is (a distinction that allows daily fantasy sports betting to be legal). These restrictions have caused major poker operators to stop accepting players from the USA, including titans of the industry Full Tilt and PokerStars.
Recently Bovada sold their real money mobile poker room to Ignition Casino in a bid to distance their sportsbook from the world of online poker. Thankfully the new owners still offer Texas Hold’em and Omaha cash games that are compatible with Android, iOS and Android devices. The poker app, however, lacks more advanced features like Multi-Table Tournaments and Sit N Go’s.
The debate around online poker in the United States will continue to rage on, as many players who went pro playing online poker have since defected to the daily fantasy sports industry, with many of the principles that brought their poker success applying to those games as well. The validity of keeping one of those similar games legal while banning the other will always be questionable, but that is just how it is for those who simply want to play poker in America right now.
Other countries seem to be joining the United States in banning online poker as of late as well. Russia, Australia, and Colombia have all recently put together efforts to restrict online poker playing in their countries, through a combination of blacklisting some poker sites or banning banking transactions related to those poker sites, preventing players in those countries from doing what they want with their own money.
Fortunately for mobile poker players in the United States, a savior appears to be growing in popularity, allowing more and more Americans to play real money online poker again on their mobile devices. That savior is bitcoin, which is continuing to grow in value while simultaneously gaining market share in the online gambling industry in countries where there are laws in place to prevent other funding methods from being successful.
This bitcoin poker trend started back with Seals With Clubs who were the world’s first bitcoin poker room. In the early days they offered an Android poker client but sadly that was removed when the site changed ownership. Since Seals With Clubs did not rely on the United States banking system, it proved popular with real-money poker players in the U.S. who were finally able to make deposits and withdrawals without interference from their government.
Right now, mobile poker can be played for real money using bitcoin at Nitrogen Sports. With an easy to use mobile interface, Nitrogen’s poker room makes it possible to play at multiple tables simultaneously on mobile devices and have tournament and sit-and-go play available. Their deposits and withdrawals are fee-free, allowing players to use more of their bankroll on hands of poker, and less of it having to pay simply to use the service that they are trying to access.
In 2017, both America’s Cardroom and BetOnline will be releasing mobile poker software that is compatible with iPhone, Nokia Lumia and Android. Both of these sites welcome U.S. poker players and accept traditional cashier options like Visa, Mastercard, check and bank wire. The good news is that they also accept crypto-currencies like bitcoin and litecoin that can circumvent banking restrictions imposed by the US government.