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Your Guide to Georgia Online Poker: Find the BEST Poker Rooms & More

Georgia Interactive Poker

When looking at traditionally conservative states that tend to be slow in change, Georgia generally comes to the front of people’s minds as an example. Well, there might be some truth to this considering the stance they currently hold on gambling overall. Luckily, citizens of the state don’t have to wait for the government to change their minds on regulated Georgia online poker as tons of great offshore sites offer games to those in Georgia already. All of the major US-facing sites offer their games, promotions and quick payouts to those in the state.

There are no federal laws that prohibit you from accessing these games. The laws that people often point to as criminalizing the act of playing internet poker, like the Wire Act and the UIGEA, do nothing to target private individuals instead reserving their penalties for those actually managing the sites. And furthermore, it's not clear that these statutes even apply to poker anyway.

Below is a list of all the reliable sites for online poker in Georgia and what they have to offer.


VISIT THE SITE WITH THE:

Online Poker Sites Available in Georgia

Rather than just joining up at the first Georgia online poker site you stumble upon, it's far better to choose your poker home carefully. We've researched all of the top rooms and have come up with a list of the best ones below. Regardless of which one of these sites you elect to play at, you'll be treated to smooth gameplay, fair dealing, and reliable payouts of your winnings. You can trust in these organizations with confidence because they've been offering their services for many years.

Ignition Casino Poker Logo

IGNITION CASINO
Most Traffic


Ignition is the largest online cardroom open to Americans, and this includes Georgians. The ring games start out in the micro-stakes and increase through to $10/$20. You can play NL Hold'em, PL Omaha (hi-only and split-pot), and Limit Holdem. Fast-fold Zone Poker is present too along with lottery Jackpot SNGs and normal single-table games. The tournament schedule is headlined by a weekly $150,000 guaranteed event, and special series that award millions in prize money pop up several times a year. Ignition boasts anonymous games where nobody can see your username or get a bead on your long-term play.

You can play at Ignition on a Windows system, a Mac, an Android device, or an iOS machine. The first deposit bonus is 100% up to $1,000, but you can increase this to 150% up to $1,500 by depositing with Bitcoin. The attached casino comes with a similarly sized bonus deal.

Logo of Sportsbetting

SB POKER
Six-Figure Bad Beat Jackpot


SB Poker is a fine destination for ring games up to $5/$10, Windfall lottery tournaments, Boost fast-fold games, and more. Cash tables are offered for NLHE, PLO, PLO/8, and 6+ Hold'em. SB.ag is also the home of the largest Bad Beat Jackpot open to Americans, which has sometimes surpassed $1M in the past and is active at specially marked tables of NL100 and higher. Promotions include occasional reload bonuses and weekly cash and SNG leaderboards.

There are downloads available for Windows and Mac, and Sportsbetting Poker also works nearly flawlessly on mobile phones and tablets. The first deposit bonus is a 100% up to $1,000 match, and there are plenty of casino and sportsbook welcome offers too.

Bovada.lv Logo

BOVADA
Multiple Gaming Options


Bovada is a partner of Ignition, and the poker platform is virtually identical at the two sites. However, Bovada lets you bet on sports, which is not possible at Ignition. All the major professional sports leagues, like NFL, NHL, and MLB, are covered, and you can also bet on collegiate athletics and all manner of other contests, like political elections and DOTA matches. A racebook is included, so you can make your straight and exotic wagers on races in the United States and around the world.

Bovada software runs on Mac and Windows operating systems, and there's also a web-based interface for mobile users. New poker customers can claim a 100% up to $500 bonus, another $3,000 for casino games, and $250 to engage in sports betting. Some of these bonuses grow if you use Bitcoin.

Logo of Intertops

INTERTOPS
Many Promotions


Traffic levels at Intertops are a bit light, particularly in high stakes, but it should suffice if you like to play just a couple of games at once. This site shines in other ways, though, such as in the variety of bankroll-boosting offers available. For starters, you can get 36% rakeback by following our links and then compete in weekly rake races, join tournaments with frequent overlays, and advance through the loyalty program.

The full Intertops poker software is compatible only with Windows, but there's an Instant Play version on the web that permits you to play on a Mac, mobile system, or Linux box. The initial deposit bonus is 200% up to $1,000, and you can also claim rewards in the included sportsbook and casino products.

Logo of ACR

AMERICAS CARDROOM
$10 for Free


Americas Cardroom has cash games as low as $0.01/$0.02 as well as stratospheric tables of $25/$50 and even higher. There are a few niche poker variants here that aren't found at every site, like 7 Card Stud. Where ACR truly shines is in its tournament selection. A few times per year, there are series that hand out seven or eight figures in prize money as well as a recurring Venom event that guarantees no less than $5 million!

You can run ACR software on a PC or Mac, and there's also a limited mobile client. We've partnered with the site to provide a $10 no deposit bonus unlocked with the bonus code PRB10FREE. Then when you're prepared to deposit your own funds, you'll get a 100% up to $1,000 bonus, but you can take advantage of a 200% up to $1,000 bonus instead if you use crypto-currency.


How to Choose the Right Georgia Poker Site

As you can see, there are several distinct firms offering Georgia online poker service, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. We can't tell you for sure which one would be best for you to register for because this will depend heavily on your own preferences and personal situation. What we can do, however, is point out a few of the factors that you'll want to ponder over as you're making your decision.

◼ If you're keen on playing where there are the most games running, then Ignition and Bovada are the best choices for you.


◼ If your mouth waters at the prospect of a huge bonus offer, then Ignition has $1,500 with your name on it if you use Bitcoin.


◼ If you expect to be able to play with different types of hardware, then SB Poker, Ignition, and Bovada have the cross-platform apps you seek.


◼ If you appreciate recurring rewards for your time at the tables, then Americas Cardroom's Elite Benefits and Intertops' Loyalty Levels systems should satisfy you.


◼ If you're a fan of unique styles of gameplay, then the fast-fold and lottery-style games at Ignition, Bovada, SB Poker, and ACR may be what you're after.


◼ If you think rakeback is the best way to grow your profits, then Intertops' 36% RB ought to leave you happy.


◼ If you want to be able to score frequent reload bonuses, then Intertops and Americas Cardroom are the two places with the most redeposit deals.

Payout Report

Bag of Money

When it's time to ask for your winnings to be placed into your hands, you can obtain checks from all of the organizations mentioned above. However, check processing speeds leave much to be desired, and there are sometimes fees attached to cashout requests. You can avoid these hassles by conducting all your poker banking functions in the digital currency Bitcoin. All of the rooms listed above support this crypto-currency. It enables rapid money transfers with low fees. If you don't know much about Bitcoin but would like to know more, then we've prepared a helpful guide to getting started in BTC.

Georgia's Online Poker Laws

Law Book

Georgia has some fairly strict gambling laws compared with most other states. The main language targeting the activity is found in Title 16, “Crimes and Offenses,” Chapter 12, “Offenses Against Public Health and Morals,” Article 2, “Gambling and Related Offenses,” Part 1, “Gambling,” § 16-12-21:

Gambling
(a) A person commits the offense of gambling when he:
(1) Makes a bet upon the partial or final result of any game or contest or upon the performance of any participant in such game or contest;
(2) Makes a bet upon the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or upon the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
(3) Plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, or balls.
(b) A person who commits the offense of gambling shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(1) clearly refers to sports-betting and other similar endeavors while (2) relates to wagering on election results. It's (3) that interests us as poker players. Poker could be held to be included as a “game played with cards,” although it's not clear whether or not online poker would be covered. There aren't any physical cards involved in the pastime, but virtual images of the cards might count for the purposes of this statute.

Another wrinkle is added by the definition of a bet in the State of Georgia, contained in § 16-12-20, which defines the terms used in the gambling sections of the State Code: “(1) 'Bet' means an agreement that, dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value.” Confusingly, there's an exemption for “an offer of a prize, award, or compensation to the actual contestants in any bona fide contest for the determination of skill, speed, strength, or endurance or to the owners of animals, vehicles, watercraft, or aircraft entered in such contest.” So the interpretation of this clause rests on whether or not poker is a game of skill or not. There are wildly conflicting opinion on this matter, but at least one federal judge, Jack B. Weinstein, has decided that poker is a skill game.

According to Georgia law, gambling is a misdemeanor, which subjects the guilty party to a fine as high as $1,000 and/or imprisonment in county jail for up to 12 months. We're here to inform you, though that § 16-12-21 has never been used to go after online poker players. Georgia has been involved in several high-profile poker busts over the years, but these enforcement actions targeted those playing in illegal live games, not people partaking in cards over the internet. As a private online poker player, you're completely safe as far as the law is concerned.

There's another infraction that's relevant to what we're talking about right now: communicating gambling information. It's delineated in § 16-12-28:

(a) A person who knowingly communicates information as to bets, betting odds, or changes in betting odds or who knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of such information with the intent to further gambling commits the offense of communicating gambling information.
(b) A person who commits the offense of communicating gambling information, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years or by a fine not to exceed $5,000.00, or both.

This language seems designed to penalize people engaging in bookmaking, but the state's definition of what a bet is in § 16-12-20 means that there is a slim possibility that it could be held to include internet poker too. This doesn't really have much impact on the real world, though, because the GA authorities have never attempted to use this law to go after online poker participants. People charged with communicating gambling information in the state have historically been either members of organized crime rings or proprietors of establishments with illegal gambling machines.

Other charges that are sometimes filed in Georgia against those operating gambling enterprises in contravention of the law include commercial gambling, keeping a gambling place, advertising commercial gambling, and possession of a gambling device. Some of these infractions are misdemeanors, some are misdemeanors “of a high and aggravated nature,” and some are felonies. Fines can climb as high as $20,000, and there's the possibility of imprisonment for up to five years. Regardless of the harshness of these laws, hardly any gambling operators have been deterred from serving Georgians. The full slate of sites that serve the United States also accept players from Georgia.

An additional part of the Official Georgia Code, beginning with § 16-12-50, deals with bingo games. Only properly licensed, nonprofit organizations are allowed to host them.

History of Gambling in Georgia

Hourglass

Georgia is known for its strong anti-gambling views, and this element of Georgia's character was formed from its foundation. The colony was set up under the auspices of a charter granted to a group of trustees in 1732. Under the supervision of these trustees, gambling was banned throughout Georgia. Even after the charter was rescinded, gambling never assumed the importance that it did in other parts of America. Lotteries, which were used in other colonies to fund public works, were of little importance in Georgia, and the few that did occur were mostly small, local affairs.

Dahlonega Mining Camp Mining Camp in Dahlonega, 1879

Throughout the 1800s, although gambling may not have been strictly legal, it was mostly ignored by the authorities. Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia from 1804 through 1868, had a reputation for the many gambling opportunities it presented to visitors. Similarly, real money gaming thrived in the Dahlonega area after gold was discovered in 1828. The mining camps that sprung up were largely lawless, and all kinds of gambling games could be found.

This permissive attitude ended by the 1930s. During the '20s, newspaperman Thomas Lee Bailey used his “Cochran Journal” as a platform for spreading his Progressive views, including his distaste for gambling. Despite its status as a small-town paper, the “Journal” was widely read in Georgia and was credited by many as being a leading force in convincing the state to toughen its stance on wagering activities in the '30s. Illicit betting was more or less stamped out during this time although there were occasional exceptions as with Eddie Guyol, who operated an illegal numbers racket in Atlanta until he was murdered in 1935.

On the legislative front, nothing happened until 1978 when bingo was legalized for charitable organizations. In 1992, a state lottery was established.

Timeline of Georgia Gambling

Georgia Gambling Timeline

Regulation Chance for Online Poker

Poker Regulations

When you talk about states that don’t have a good chance of regulated online gambling, Georgia would have to be higher on that list. Its exceptionally conservative government and population, combined with a fairly long history of anti-gambling laws and ideas, make for a poor climate regarding online poker. There aren't any brick-and-mortar casinos in the state, and these establishments are usually the forerunners of any kind of legalized real money online gaming, so the situation in Georgia isn't exactly favorable. It's most unlikely that Georgia will operate a regulated internet gambling market at least until it becomes commonplace in many other states.

Land Based Gambling

Logo of the Georgia Lottery

Land based gambling in the state of Georgia is one of the most limited things that you will see in the United States with only charitable gambling and the state lottery being available to residents. The state lottery is rather successful, with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and this would seem to indicate there is at least some acceptance of gambling in the state. However, repeated attempts to inaugurate commercial casinos and pari-mutuel racetrack betting in GA have met with periodic failure. The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians has made vague statements expressing an intention to open up a tribal casino in Georgia, but thus far, nothing solid has materialized.

Famous Georgians in Poker

For a state that has next to no gambling scene to speak of, Georgia has produced more than its fair share of poker luminaries.

Cary KatzCary Katz

The Georgian with the highest total offline tournament winnings is Cary Katz who was born in Atlanta in 1970. Katz has accumulated more than $28.4 million in live MTT earnings over his career.

He first learned the game from his grandmother but did not begin playing in live tournaments competitively until 2004 at the relatively advanced age of 34. He has since made up for lost time though with quite a few notable cashes, including a victory in the £250,000 + £2,500 Super High Roller Bowl London in 2019 where he took home $2.6 million for his efforts and a second place finish in the 2018 Triton Poker Jeju Short Deck Ante-Only event, good for $1.7 million.

In general, Cary appears to prefer entering high-roller competitions with buyins of $10,000 or more. This is quite understandable when we reflect on the fact that he was already a successful businessman before beginning to play poker seriously.

In 1999, Katz started the College Loan Corporation and was its CEO for 15 years. After that, in 2015, he launched Poker Central, which is one of the most prominent poker content streaming services.

Cary Katz has not yet picked up any World Series of Poker bracelets, nor has he triumphed in any World Poker Tour events. We suspect that it is only a matter of time before he achieves success in these arenas given his accomplishments both on and off the felt.

Phil GordonPhil Gordon

Phil Gordon was also born in 1970. While he is not a native of Georgia in the strictest sense, having been born in El Paso, Texas, Phil moved to Stone Mountain, Georgia when he was little, and that was where he grew up.

After graduating from Georgia Tech in 1991 with a B.S. in computer science, Gordon went on to work for several enterprises, including Lockheed Martin and Netsys, which was acquired by computing giant Cisco in 1996. This transaction left Phil a millionaire, and he elected to retire from the corporate world and play poker instead.

Phil Gordon's biggest live cashes were a fourth-place finish in the 2001 WSOP Main Event, for which he collected $399,610, and first place in the 2006 FullTiltPoker.Net Championship in Las Vegas where he took home $600,000. In total, he has $2.8 million in live MTT winnings to his name.

Phil was instrumental in the formation of Full Tilt Poker, was a commentator on “Celebrity Poker Showdown” for seven seasons, and has written a number of poker books, including “Phil Gordon's Little Green Book.”

Other distinguished pokerists from The Peach State include Josh Arieh, who has lived in Atlanta since 1984, David Bach of Athens, and Poker Hall of Famer Billy Baxter, born in Augusta.

Online Casinos

It makes perfect sense that such an anti-gambling state as Georgia doesn't feature any terrestrial casinos that you can visit. Still, if casino gaming is within your wheelhouse, you can partake in such online. We have evaluated the leading internet casinos and have identified the best ones:

1. Ignition Casino - Up to $1,500 Bonus and Unlimited BTC Reloads
2. Bovada Casino - 3 x Bitcoin 125% up to $1,250 Bonuses ($3,750 Total)
3. Sportsbetting Casino - 3 x $1,000 Bonuses ($3,000 Total)

There are other trustworthy online casinos that accept players from Georgia. Find out more about them in this list of the best offshore casinos for Americans.

Online Sportsbooks

There's a Georgia sports betting bill winding its way through the legislative process, but even if it passes, it will probably be a couple of years before the first licensed sportsbooks appear. In the meantime, you have recourse to the numerous online bookmakers who happily transact with Georgians. Three of the best of them are:

1. Bovada Sports - 50% Bonus up to $250 (Up to $750 for Bitcoin)

2. Sportsbetting.ag - 50% up to $1,000 Bonus (100% up to $1,000 With BTC)
3. Intertops Sports - Your Choice of a $50, $100, or $200 Bonus

If you want more options for sports betting in Georgia, then head over to this page describing the leading internet sportsbooks in the United States.

Final Thoughts

Playing online poker in Georgia is a practical way to get your fix of card game action. The authorities mostly ignore this activity, and so you won't get into any legal predicaments for engaging in it. Georgia online poker is a fine way to while away the torrid summers without leaving the air-conditioned comfort of your home.

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

Georgia and States Adjacent to It

If you are lucky enough to have another address in a state close to Georgia, be it your business office, summer home, second apartment, family estate, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you.  Here is a list of the states that border Georgia and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. If you're keen to find out more about online poker throughout the entire United States, then you can read through our guide to internet poker for Americans.

There's plenty of ignorance about Georgia online poker among the residents of the Peach State. You can help enlighten your friends, neighbors, and family members by sharing this article with any among them whom you think would be interested in it.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Playing online poker in Georgia is a broad subject, and so it's natural if you have a few questions about it. Below, we've attempted to answer some of the most common queries regarding this topic.

No, the authorities in Atlanta have not seen fit to set up a licensing framework for legal online poker rooms, and there haven't been any attempts to do so either. Given its status as one of the most anti-gambling states in the Union, it's no surprise that Georgia hasn't jumped on the regulated iGaming bandwagon.

Yes, online poker in Georgia is basically legal for individual players. There are some laws on the books that could theoretically be applied to online poker, but the way that these statutes are actually employed in reality makes it clear that they're directed at illicit live gambling, not games taking place on the internet. To date, no GA online poker player has ever been charged with a crime or prosecuted for participating in the game online.

Yes, PokerStars is transacting legally in the State of Georgia. However, it only deals out play money hands.

This is a result of the settlement agreement that PokerStars voluntarily entered into with the Department of Justice in order to resolve the Black Friday charges against it. As part of the agreement, 'Stars promised to stop serving American customers real money games except in those jurisdictions where it holds a valid gaming license, like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Consequently, you cannot join in the room's real money tables from Georgia.

Yes, Ignition is not breaking the law by transacting in The Peach State. The U.S. government might disagree with this interpretation, but Ignition would likely contend that the federal persecution of offshore poker sites is itself illegal because it contravenes multilateral trade agreements to which the United States is a signatory.

Yes, BetOnline is not doing anything wrong by accepting residents of Georgia as customers. BOL, like other international poker sites, believe that they're in full compliance with the rules issued by the World Trade Organization, which allows its members to provide each other's citizens with cross-border services, like internet poker games.

The United States government feels differently about this topic. However, the WTO has already ruled against this position and has found in favor of Antigua time and again in the Caribbean nation's dispute with the USA regarding online gaming.

The company says is completely legal in Georgia, but we're not entirely convinced. There's not enough space to get into the reasons why here, but you can read our review of Global Poker for our thoughts on this matter.

Though there are barely any land-based opportunities for wagering in Georgia, what little there is can be accessed by residents who are 18 years or older. Online, this same guideline applies: You can bet for real money beginning on your 18th birthday.

While it's technically possible to gamble before this age by lying on the account registration form, we advise you to resist this temptation if you're underage. When it's time to cash out your winnings, you'll have to submit documentation proving your identity, and if it turns out that you misrepresented how old you are, then your account will be closed and your real money balance voided.

No, it's not a good idea to try to run an unlicensed gaming operation from within the borders of Georgia. Unlike with playing online poker, managing an illicit betting enterprise is subject to severe penalties, and these rules are actually enforced by Georgia law enforcement.

In March 2019, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation participated in a raid in Cartersville during which three people were arrested and charged with felony gambling violations. They were accused of operating equipment that functioned like slot machines where customers would put money in and then have the possibility of winning a cash prize.

Unless you wish to expose yourself to the chance of being similarly arrested, we urge you to stay away from the underground Georgia gambling economy.

You can make transactions related to interactive poker through credit cards, bank wires, person-to-person transfer, and many other payment channels. Unfortunately, some of the most popular financial instruments for gaming are being blocked by Georgia banks and credit card issuers. They dislike poker and gambling, and many of them attempt to put a stop to these kinds of money movements.

Therefore, a space has emerged for the application of innovative fintech instruments, like Bitcoin. Dealing in BTC lets you bypass many of the rules established by government laws and banking regulations. Bitcoin is relatively anonymous, carries pretty low fees, and is speedy. All of these elements make it perfect for internet poker.

To learn more about Bitcoin and how to incorporate it into your online poker grind, check out this guide to using bitcoins for offshore poker. There are a couple of “altcoins” – crypto-currencies other than Bitcoin – that have been gaining acceptance among poker sites, and you can read more about them here: Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum.

Yes, home poker games are against the law in Georgia. Unlike in most other states, there's no exemption in the gambling codes for private card games from which nobody makes any money other than as a player.

The police have actually broken up live poker games before, like in June 2014 when they raided an Albany property and pressed charges against those involved in a poker game. The supposed ringleaders were charged with felonies, but even ordinary players were prosecuted for misdemeanors.

That said, you're probably OK holding a poker home game as long as you only invite people you know and trust, and nobody goes around advertising the game. Still, home poker in Georgia is not as legally safe as Georgia online poker, so you might just wish to forgo live poker at your house if you live in this state.

Yes, all of the rooms we have highlighted for Georgia players support mobile poker. They work on both tablets and smartphones.

A few of the games spread may not be accessible from the mobile lobby depending on the particular site. Additionally, multi-tabling is much harder on mobile and may not even be possible. This is why we prefer to dabble in mobile poker only while away from home while putting in the majority of our volume on desktop poker clients.

Yes, it's your responsibility to pay taxes on your online poker wins. Both the Georgia Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service consider money generated from poker winnings to be taxable income.

Offshore gaming sites generally do not provide you with documentation of your results, so you'll have to do the recordkeeping yourself. It may be possible for you to reduce your overall tax liability by filing in the right way. We counsel you to seek out the advice of a qualified income tax professional for more advice on this topic.

Depending on your filing status and the amount of your poker profits, you may have options for reducing your overall tax liability. We urge you to consult with a CPA or other tax professional for additional information on this topic.

Additional Resources

Georgia has very limited gambling, but there are a few resources about it that you may wish to check out:

 


We strive to maintain this information and update it frequently with our research. However, we are not immune to making mistakes or omitting information that you, dear reader, may find of use. If you have any further questions not addressed in this guide or have noted any discrepancies or inaccuracies we urge you to contact us with your questions and concerns so that we may swiftly address them!