Can You Play Online Poker in Nebraska?
The short answer to this question is No. You cannot play online poker legally in Nebraska because the state has no locally-regulated online gambling operator offering online poker. There are only four casinos in the state, all built on tribal lands. These casinos can offer poker games to players if they want to, but Nebraska online poker remains illegal and unregulated.
Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in Nebraska?
Nebraska has one of the strictest laws regarding online poker. Under the state’s laws, gambling is considered illegal by default. Although internet-based gambling isn’t mentioned explicitly, using a gambling device isn’t allowed, which can be interpreted to include computers and mobile phones that may be used to play poker online.
This may likely change in the future since lawmakers are proposing a Games of Skills Act which will classify poker as a skills-based game and permit players to legally participate in it. This bill is yet to be passed, so Nebraska online poker remains illegal.
The alternative for poker fans in Nebraska is to play on International casino sites (offshore sites). So far, no one has been charged for playing poker on offshore sites, which means it is a legally acceptable way to play poker online for real money. There are other risks you should be aware of before signing up, though.
MyPokerCoaching strongly recommends against playing on offshore poker sites. These sites play by the (often lax) rules of the country they are located and not by US laws. This makes it particularly risky to deposit money to play poker on these sites. There are no guarantees of fair gaming practices, and you will have a hard time recovering your money if the site freezes your account or gets shut down completely for any reason.
Potential Nebraska Poker Sites to Launch in the Future
Poker has been popular in Nebraska for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.
It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in NE will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.
When online poker is finally legal in NE, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.
BetMGM Poker Nebraska
BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.
We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.
In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.
It is also likely that BetMGM Poker NE will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.
Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.
Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.
But even without that particular element, NE is a big enough market on its own.
What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think Nebraska would be an exception.
PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.
The third NE poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is WSOP.com. Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities.
WSOP.com has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.
A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.
WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.