There have been significant changes for the online gambling scene in the United States in recent times. One of the major changes has been the accessibility of online casino games for people who live in states where real money casino gaming is illegal.
The introduction of sweepstakes casinos has caused a huge stir in the online gambling industry and that includes poker. Continue below as we take a closer look at how the sweepstake model is changing poker in the US.
How Sweepstakes Model Works in Poker
The sweepstakes model is different to the standard online poker model we have become used to over the years.
Only a few states in the US have regulated real money online poker and that means most people have been missing out on playing the game they love online. However, the sweepstakes model has changed that and online poker, where real money is at stake, is now available across much of the United States, with only Washington being the exception.
When playing at sweepstakes poker sites, you can buy gold coins and these can be used when playing the game but have no monetary value. When buying gold coins, you will receive sweeps coins for free as part of the transaction and these can also be used to play poker. Sweeps coins are a virtual currency, like gold coins, but they do have a real world monetary value because they can be converted into cash. Having played with your sweeps coins, if you have any winnings, the coins can be redeemed for real cash.
Legal Online Poker for All
Knowing how the sweep stakes poker model works and how it is available across the United States, it quickly becomes apparent how it is changing poker in the US. At the time of writing, only six states have legalized online real money poker and they are Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan. So, if you live in or close to the border of one of these states, you have access to legalized real money online poker. However, if you reside in Colorado or Kansas for example, you have no options for real money online poker play.
That is where the sweepstake model is changing poker in the United States. For example, internet gambling is illegal under state and federal laws in Colorado – as real money options are not permitted, people can legally play poker using the sweepstake model there. The same is true for citizens of Kansas. That means, when playing using sweeps coins, people in states where real money online poker sites are illegal, can play online poker and win cash. Suddenly, the sweepstake poker sites like Global Poker are available to millions more people than the standard real money poker websites. This is a major change for the online poker industry in the US and that means everyone in the United States, other than Washington, can legally play poker online and win cash.
What Kind of Game Quality You Can Expect with Sweepstakes Poker Sites
Offering online poker with real cash prizes is great but if the quality of the games were poor, people would soon turn away. That is not the case and the online sweepstakes poker games match the quality of the poker games available at regular real money poker sites.
There are tournaments available to enter around the clock, with Texas Hold'em being the most popular game. There are other forms of poker available to play on the sweepstake model, including Pot-Limit Omaha and Crazy Pineapple. In addition to the tournaments, there are cash games and sit & go's, so there are plenty of options when playing sweepstakes poker. In addition to playing on a desktop, sweepstakes poker is available on mobile thanks to dedicated applications. The apps can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices, so you can play sweepstakes poker on the go.
It will be interesting to follow the online poker industry in the United States as the sweepstakes model begins to take control of the online market share. Will the standard real money poker sites be granted licenses to compete with the sweepstakes model or will they struggle to expand across the country? Only time will tell – we'll follow upcoming developments of the industry closely to keep our players informed!
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