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Despite knowing the risks associated with playing on unregulated online poker sites, many players in the United States still choose to do so. Some advocates supporting regulation claim that they don’t understand why this is the case, but we are not one of then.

While we fully support regulated online poker, we still understand the mindset behind those players that choose to play in unregulated sites. If you still cannot fathom why someone would play unregulated online poker, continue reading to learn why.

Regulation is a Pipe Dream for Some Areas of the United States

There some areas of the country that will likely never see regulated online poker unless by some miracle that Congress passes an online poker bill. At this point, we don’t see that happening. Instead, online poker players have to rely on their state legislators to regulate iPoker.

The reality is that some states will never regulate online poker. My home state of Virginia is one state where I don’t see online poker being regulated at any point. If you live in Utah, they have already passed legislation opting-out of a Congressional bill, so there’s zero chance of online poker ever becoming regulated in that state.

In areas where players feel that regulated online poker is a pipe dream, they feel that their only option is to play unregulated.

Many Players Only Care About Regulation After They Don’t Get Paid

How many of you played on Full Tilt, PokerStars, UB and other unregulated sites prior to Black Friday. How many of you didn’t have a care in the world until your funds were tied up. Sadly, that is the same attitude of many players that play on unregulated sites.

As long as sites continue to pay out, they don’t really worry about a site being unregulated. However, once a site doesn’t pay them, they then complain about not  having consumer protection.

Those with this type of mentality need to take responsibility for their own actions. If you play on an unregulated site and lose money because of the lack of regulation, that’s your own fault.

Read More: 

Full Flush Poker: Another Lesson in Online Poker Regulation

The Odd Popularity of Unregulated Poker Sites

No Other Viable Option / Play Unregulated or Don’t Play

Some players feel that they are stuck and have no other option but to play online. Unless you live in Delaware, Nevada or New Jersey, you cannot play regulated online poker. Others live in states that either don’t have a live poker room or the trip to one takes too long.

These players feel like they are stuck and that they have no other option but to play online. Most are aware of the risks but choose to do so anyway.

Regulation Efforts Are Taking Too Much Time

The fact is that Americans are an impatient lot and many do not want to wait for their state to regulate online poker. Looking at how long it has taken to get a 4th state online (3 years and counting), most feel that they are going to be waiting years to become regulated.

The reality here is that in many states, the wait isn’t going to be years but perhaps decades, if ever. They aren’t willing to wait, nor are they willing to move, so they turn to the dark side.

They View Online Poker No Differently Than Playing Underground Live Games

How many of you play in home games that are technically illegal or reside in a legal gray area? Do any of you play in underground live poker rooms? Many poker players perfected their poker chops in such games and some players view online poker the same way that they view underground or home games.

Home games are largely in a gray area but in some states they are outright illegal. Underground poker rooms are clearly illegal in all states. Players that choose to play in these games are just as likely to play unregulated online poker.

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should – But Many Don’t Care

We’re going to give the obligatory warning that poker players should not play on unregulated online poker sites. Most of you already know the reasons why. When you play on unregulated sites, you have ZERO legal recourse to get your money back if the site closes down.

Here’s a quick list of sites that shut down and didn’t repay players in recent years:

  • Full Tilt Poker
  • UB
  • Absolute Poker
  • Lock Poker
  • Pitbull Poker
  • PokerSpot
  • Purple Lounge
  • True Poker
  • WSEX

Full Tilt Poker players (many of them anyway) were paid by PokerStars. But also, don’t forget that PokerStars is also an unregulated online poker site in the United States outside of New Jersey and prior to Black Friday, millions played there.

Full Flush Poker appears to be the latest site in danger of closing up shop and not paying players. They have been offline for weeks and while they claim they’re simply upgrading their software, players have not been offered a way to get their funds. And there’s nothing they can do about it.

Many of you know the realities of playing unregulated online poker. Is that going to stop you from playing? Probably not, because you’re probably of the mindset that you will be the 1 in 292,201,338 to win the PowerBall jackpot.

Just remember, if you play on an unregulated online poker site and you lose your money, you have nobody to blame but yourself. You have been warned.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.

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