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Real Money Online Poker in Utah - play is legal in 2023!

Utah Online Poker

Can I play online poker in Utah? The answer is yes!

Is it legal to play online poker in Utah? The answer to this is also yes!


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When it comes to real-money online poker in Utah, you may be surprised to find out that there are quite a number of offshore sites that are ready to serve you. Utah online poker is a popular pastime that thousands of players in the state enjoy. This makes sense when we consider that there are no land-based casinos in Utah, so anyone looking to join a game of cards and risk actual cash must of necessity head onto the internet.

It is actually possible for Utah residents to participate in brick-and-mortar poker games, but they must exit the state to do so. Wendover casinos, just across the Nevada border, do host an assortment of tournaments and cash games. However, driving to one of these venues, waiting for a seat to open up, exchanging your money at the cashier, and conducting all the other ancillary activities involved in live casino play cuts down on the time you actually spend playing. It's probably far better to just log into the virtual poker room of your choice and play from home, in your pajamas if you feel like it.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 is often mistakenly believed to apply to internet poker transactions throughout the country. Fortunately, this legislation targets financial entities and gambling companies themselves rather than individual players. Furthermore, there are countless workarounds to this invasive legislation, so funding your account isn't really a problem.

Also, the Federal Wire Act does not criminalize the act of playing online poker either. It deals with those who are in the business of accepting bets across state lines and contains no language directed against poker players. Recent court rulings have found that the Wire Act does not apply to poker anyway.

As long as you do your Utah online poker playing privately and without trying to entice others to join, you seem to be perfectly safe.

What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Utah?

While there are a number of geographic areas within the United States that some foreign internet gambling firms shy away from, Utah is surprisingly not among them. You therefore have access to the entire menu of real-money internet cardrooms that anyone from any other state does. There are a couple of them that are perhaps disreputable or dishonest, but we've elected to avoid mentioning any questionable companies. The online cardroom sites that we recommend to you have all been in business for years, and they pay out winnings fairly and speedily.

1

IGNITION

BONUS:
150% up to $1,500
★★★★
4.5 / 5

BEST UT ONLINE POKER SITE WITH THE MOST TRAFFIC

NETWORK:
PAIWANGLUO
EXTRAS
CASINO
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Ignition Poker is a great choice as it is the largest poker site available to players in Utah. Ignition boasts a wide selection of cash games including NL Hold'em, PLO, and PLO/8 featuring blinds up to $10/$20. Other popular formats on offer include fast-fold Zone Poker, sit-and-gos, randomized Jackpot SNGs, and multi-table tournaments. The Monthly Milly, as the name might imply, is a large monthly tournament featuring at least a $1 million prize pool. Play at Ignition is anonymous to protect recreational players from being targeted by sharks.

Ignition Poker offers a downloadable poker client for Windows and Mac devices. Users who prefer to use other hardware can take advantage of the instant-play version of the poker room. The instant-play software is compatible with any computer, tablet, or mobile device. You can get a poker bonus worth 100% of your first deposit up to $1,000, and your bonus increases to 150% up to $1,500 if you utilize cryptocurrency for your deposit. Check out the attached casino to receive a matching casino bonus.

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2

SB POKER

BONUS:
100% up to $1,000
★★★★
4.4 / 5

BEST UT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR BAD BEAT JACKPOT

NETWORK:
CHICO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
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SB Poker and its partner sites on the Chico Poker Network represent the third-largest option available to U.S. players. SB Poker offers numerous cash games including NLH, PLO, and PLO/8 with blinds up to $5/$10 in the NLH games. Also on offer is the largest Bad Beat Jackpot available to Utah players, reaching the $1 million mark on occasion. Other offerings at SB Poker include sit-and-gos, randomized-prize SNGs known as Windfall Poker, fast-fold Boost Poker, and multi-table tournaments.

SB Poker is available for download on any Windows or Mac system. Mobile users can also download an excellent mobile application on any iOS or Android device. You will receive a poker bonus equal to 100% of your first deposit up to $1,000. Visit the attached casino and sportsbook to get additional, similar deposit promotions.

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3

BETONLINE

BONUS:
100% up to $1,000
★★★★
4.3 / 5

BEST UT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR MOBILE GAMING

NETWORK:
CHICO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
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BetOnline and SB Poker operate in tandem as members of the Chico Poker Network, therefore the poker and promotions are largely the same at both sites. BOL has been in business longer than SB Poker although both sites are now respected for their excellent sportsbook and casino offerings. All major sports are available to bet on here including the MLB, NFL, NCAAF, and NBA. The casino spreads a multitude of slots, table games, live dealer games, and video poker.

You can download the poker software and play here using any PC, Mac, iOS, or Android system. You'll also receive a generous poker bonus equal to 100% of your first deposit up to $1,000. The casino and sportsbook offer additional promotions, so be sure to check them out to take full advantage.

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4

BOVADA

BONUS:
100% up to $500
★★★★
4.2 / 5

BEST UT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR SPORTS & CASINO

NETWORK:
PAIWANGLUO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Bovada is a partner site to Ignition Poker, so the poker games on offer are entirely the same. The primary benefit to playing at Bovada is that you can wager on sports and horse racing, which is not an option at Ignition. You can choose to bet on football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and a multitude of international sporting events. There are also more obscure wagers here like TV events, eSports, and election results.

The full poker client at Bovada can be downloaded on any PC or Mac. If you would prefer to play on a mobile or tablet device, you can also access a web-based instant play version. You can receive a poker bonus worth 100% of your first deposit up to $500 as well as multiple casino, sports, and racebook offers to choose from.

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5

AMERICAS CARDROOM

BONUS:
100% up to $2,000
★★★★
4.1 / 5

BEST UT ONLINE POKER SITE WITH FREE BANKROLL OFFER

NETWORK:
WINNING
FREE
$10
MORE INFO
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Americas Cardroom is the flagship site on the Winning Poker Network which represents the second-largest U.S.-facing poker network. ACR is well-known for offering an extensive selection of multi-table tournaments across all buy-in levels. The recurring Online Super Series is a special series of tournaments that regularly award seven-figure prize pools. ACR also offers an array of cash games catering to every size of bankroll, fast-fold cash games, sit-and-gos, and lottery-style Jackpot SNGs.

Americas Cardroom offers a downloadable poker client compatible with Windows and Mac systems. ACR also offers a limited mobile version, but unfortunately, many popular games and formats are missing. Sign up and use our exclusive bonus code PRB10FREE to receive $10 with no deposit required. You will also be eligible to get a deposit bonus equal to 100% of your first deposit up to $2,000.

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6

COIN POKER

BONUS:
100% up to $700
★★★★
4.0 / 5

BEST UT CRYPTO-ONLY ONLINE POKER SITE

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
30% RAKEBACK
MORE INFO
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CoinPoker is a crypto-centered internet poker room that makes use of USDT, or Tether, exclusively to denominate poker play, but you will have the option of using a few other coins, like BTC and ETH, for deposits and withdrawals. CoinPoker is the largest online site operating exclusively using crypto. There are a number of variants available to play here including standard options like NL Hold'em as well as a few niche formats like Open Face Chinese and 5 Card Omaha. You can take advantage of monthly and weekly leaderboards as you grind at the MTTs or cash game tables.

You can play at CoinPoker using any Mac, PC, Android, or iOS device. You can get excellent bonuses here when you sign up including a 100% bonus of up to $100, a 100% bonus of up to $300, and a 100% bonus of up to $700! Another benefit at CoinPoker is that you can earn 30% rakeback each week so long as you hold CHP, CoinPoker's unique cryptocurrency.

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7

EVERYGAME

BONUS:
200% up to $1,000
★★★
3.9 / 5

BEST UT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR RAKEBACK

NETWORK:
HORIZON
EXTRAS
CASINOS, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
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The poker room at Everygame is fairly small when compared to the places we've discussed above but it also offers excellent promotions and value. 36% rakeback is issued as the standard, and additional value can be had by participating in weekly rake races and frequent overlay tournaments. Everygame also offers reload bonuses with regularity, and it boasts an excellent VIP rewards program for high-volume grinders.

Everygame Poker is available for download on Windows devices, but users who wish to utilize other hardware can access the poker room via an instant-play, browser-based version. Visit Everygame today and receive a 200% poker bonus up to $1,000 on your first deposit as well as 25 free slot spins. Explore the attached casinos and sportsbook to receive additional promotional value.

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8

SWCPOKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★
3.6 / 5

BEST UT ONLINE SITE FOR UNIQUE POKER VARIANTS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
FREEROLLS
MORE INFO
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SwCPoker is a Bitcoin-only poker site that is well-recognized for the wide array of variants it spreads. At SwC, you'll be able to play Hold'em, Omaha, Razz, Stud, Open Face Chinese, and more. If you aren't yet familiar will all of the available poker formats here, you can jump into frequent freerolls to learn how to play. All cashier functions and poker play at SwC are denominated in Bitcoin.

SwC boasts excellent poker software that works well across a wide range of desktops, laptops, and smart devices. There isn't any initial deposit bonus at SwC, but you can earn up to 50% rakeback based on your volume of play over time.

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9

NITROBETTING

BONUS:
100% up to 25 mBTC
★★★
3.4 / 5

BEST UT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR BITCOIN USERS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Nitrobetting is a Bitcoin-exclusive betting platform that offers a poker room, casino gaming, and a sportsbook. There are plenty of games to choose from here including Hold'em, Omaha, and Crazy Hold'em. Tournaments and sit-n-goes are also available although the concentrated action tends to be at the cash game tables. You can earn entries into daily freerolls to boost your profits as long as you put in the required volume.

Nitrobetting works directly from within any web browser, so it is fully compatible with numerous OSes including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS systems. Check out Nitrobetting today and you'll be able to get a poker bonus equivalent to 100% of your initial deposit amount up to 25mBTC.

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ALTERNATIVE POKER SITES


How to Choose the Best Utah Poker Site For Your Style of Play

All of the rooms we've highlighted have their particular strengths and areas of focus, so it's not really reasonable to designate any one of them as the “best.” You'll have to evaluate your own preferences and the types of gameplay you savor to arrive at a sensible decision. If you're still unsure of the ideal Utah online poker provider for your needs, then the following rules of thumb may be useful to you:

➡ If you'd like to be able to sit across from weaker opponents, then Ignition, Bovada, SB Poker, and BetOnline have the juicy games you're searching for.


➡ If the sheer number of active tables and tourneys available is your primary consideration, then Ignition, Bovada, and Americas Cardroom have you covered.


➡ If you're interested in the fastest-clearing bonuses, then Ignition or Bovada should give you what you want.


➡ If fast-fold ring games appeal to you, then Ignition and Bovada's Zone Poker, SB Poker and BOL's Boost Poker, or ACR's Blitz are your best choices.


➡ If you're a partisan of SNG tournaments, then Americas Cardroom is the place to go for the widest possible variety of them.


➡ If you often wish to partake in mobile play, then the apps developed by SB Poker, BetOnline, Ignition, and Bovada enable you to play from your phone or tablet.


➡ If you want to attempt to win your share of large MTT prize pools, then Americas Cardroom, Ignition, and Bovada contain the largest tournaments open to Americans.

How Do I Receive Withdrawals and Payments?

Money Bag

Each of the poker operators that allow Utah players has a roster of payment methods to permit deposits and withdrawals. Unfortunately, many of them are slow, and they sometimes incur additional fees. Many people choose credit cards as an easy way to add money to their accounts, but these transactions are sometimes blocked by banks, and cards can't be used to get your winnings back from the sites.

Bitcoin is probably the best way to transfer cash to and from online gambling organizations because it's speedy, relatively anonymous, and almost fee-free. If you aren't familiar with Bitcoin, then you can peruse our beginners guide to BTC to find out how to successfully use it for online poker.

Alternatives to Registering Your Poker Account in Utah

States Neighboring Utah

Perhaps you may be lucky enough to possess another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc. If this is the case, then you may have other online poker options available to you. Here is a list of the states that border Utah and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming. If none of these particular states are relevant to your situation, then you might want to take a look through our detail-packed guide for U.S. online poker fans.

The topic of online poker is one that's unfortunately shrouded in ignorance for the bulk of our populace. If you know anyone, whether a family member or friend, who's fascinated by the game, then perhaps you could do them a kindness by sharing this page with them.

Facts About Utah's Poker Industry

The sections below aim to provide information detailing the legality of playing online poker, state regulation, and the history involving gambling within the state of Utah.

The Legality of Playing Poker Online in Utah

Book of Law

Unlike with many other states, the statutes in force in Utah with respect to online gambling are clear and unambiguous. Unfortunately, they're clearly unfavorable and unambiguously designed to completely ban the pastime. The part of the Utah state laws that deals with this subject is Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 11. In the first section, 1101, of this chapter, we find the definition of gambling:

(2) (a) "Gambling" means risking anything of value for a return or risking anything of value upon the outcome of a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device when the return or outcome:

(i) is based upon an element of chance; and

(ii) is in accord with an agreement or understanding that someone will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.

This is very broad phrasing that certainly includes poker because there's no doubt that the game “is based upon an element of chance.” It also encompasses racetrack betting, wagering on sports, casino gaming, and more. Let's turn to the next piece of the gambling laws in Utah, section 1102:

(1) A person is guilty of gambling if the person:

(a) participates in gambling, including any Internet or online gambling;

(b) knowingly permits any gambling to be played, conducted, or dealt upon or in any real or personal property owned, rented, or under the control of the actor, whether in whole or in part; or

(c) knowingly allows the use of any video gaming device that is:

(i) in any business establishment or public place; and

(ii) accessible for use by any person within the establishment or public place.

From the clause “including any Internet or online gambling” from (a) above, we see that even poker played over the net, using your computer or cellphone, is prohibited. On to the penalties for gambling from the same section of the Utah laws:

(2) Gambling is a class B misdemeanor, except that any person who is convicted two or more times under this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

There are weightier punishments on the books for those who actually run or promote gambling games within the state as stipulated in other parts of the Utah gambling laws. Every so often, Utah police conduct raids on illegal poker games, but they target commercially run tables that are intended to make a profit. In most cases, there are additional crimes, like money laundering or drug dealing, being committed, and the gambling-related charges are tacked on as extras.

As long as you play online privately at home – without advertising for, promoting, financing, or enticing others to join a site – your risk of getting into legal trouble is slim to none. In fact, a 2013 article in the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News reported, “Law enforcement spends little time breaking up home poker games or tracking down online bettors.”

Offline Gambling

Large Building

Utah is basically a barren desert as far as live gambling in concerned. There are no officially allowed casinos, sports betting, racetrack betting, poker rooms, lotteries, or charitable gaming inside the state.

The few exceptions involve free-to-play games that have prizes attached, which are somewhat common in restaurants, bars, and similar businesses. These establishments are allowed to host bingo and poker with entry granted to customers making unrelated purchases of, for example, dinner. Even this workaround is not foolproof with prosecutors looking carefully to make sure the prices of goods and services are not artificially inflated to effectively create pay-to-play situations.

Utah residents who feel the urge to gamble most often visit West Wendover off of I-80 just across the Nevada border. There are five casinos in Wendover where you can play poker, bet on sports, enjoy keno, sit at a blackjack table, spin the slot reels, and engage in all your other favorite casino pastimes although not every type of betting is present at every single Wendover casino.

Of course, all of these forms of wagering and more can be found online, which is probably the most convenient recourse if you wish to engage in real money gaming from Utah.

State Regulation

Utah isn't the most crowded state in the Union, but then again, it's far from the least populous. Yet, the size of any potential legalized online poker market is minuscule because of the widespread aversion to gambling on the part of most Utahns. Anyway, the existing Utah online gambling laws make it extremely unlikely that we'll see any licensed internet poker open up in the state for a very long time. Speaking of laws, now's a fine moment to discuss 76-10-1102(4), which we skipped over in our overview of the Utah gambling statutes above:

If any federal law is enacted that authorizes Internet gambling in the states and that federal law provides that individual states may opt-out of Internet gambling, this state shall opt out of Internet gambling in the manner provided by federal law and within the time frame provided by that law.

That's right; Utah will automatically and preemptively opt out of any federal bill that might, in the future, perhaps maybe be passed that would permit online gambling. This is quite a remarkable piece of legislation. It's as though the government in Salt Lake City feels that the rest of the country would like nothing more than to trick the state, against its will, into authorizing online gambling, and therefore, this foresighted preventative measure is required. This statute is the nail in the coffin for any hope of a licensing arrangement to bring fully approved virtual card games to the Beehive State.

Utah Gambling History

The discovery of dice crafted from animal bone and other related implements in caves inhabited by the native Promontory culture suggests that gambling was a widespread pastime around the Great Salt Lake in the 13th century. This might have been the high point of Utah gambling because the story in recent centuries has been one of moral disapproval and prohibition.

You see, the area now known as Utah was settled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormons) in 1847. This section of the continent wasn't even a part of the United States at that time, but the U.S. Army prevailed in the Mexican-American war a few years later, and the territory was annexed. The earlier inhabitants had been Native Americans, trappers, and fur traders, and it's pretty likely that they engaged in games of chance on occasion, but gambling came to a virtual halt with the arrival of Brigham Young and his band of religious-minded settlers.

Brigham Young
Brigham Young

The newcomers set up what they called the State of Deseret in 1849 although this body was not recognized by the United States or any other government. It existed for but a scant two years; yet Deseret still had enough time to pass an anti-gambling ordinance in 1951. It held that all types of gambling were disallowed, and property used for conducting the games as well as all winnings would be forfeit. An additional fine could be imposed at the discretion of the court. When the Territory of Utah was established, this law was carried over, along with most other laws of the State of Deseret, and it remained in full effect.

We can perhaps gain an appreciation for the feelings of these early Utah residents about gambling by examining Brigham Young's own words on the subject, spoken in 1866:

Let a judge decree that … a gambling saloon shall be established in our city, and we will give him the privilege to get out of the city as quickly as he can.

Due to this attitude, which was held by the majority of Mormons, Utah never went through a “Wild West” phase with saloons and gambling. The was a brief surge in gambling, prostitution and other vices when a silver rush began in the state in the 1860s, but after a few years, corporate interests took control, and the days of wild-living, individualistic miners were over.

Utah became a state in 1896 and has maintained strict laws against all forms of gambling until the present day with just one exception. There was a brief experiment with pari-mutuel racetrack betting that started in 1925, but it aroused much opposition and was terminated in 1927.

Today, about 60% of the population of Utah belongs to the LDS church, and while many of them aren't actively practicing Mormons, the view of gambling among the public is mostly negative. There are no casinos, card rooms, bingo halls, racetrack betting facilities, or any other kind of gaming with real money at stake throughout Utah. Even charitable events featuring games of chance, which are usually permitted even in states that restrict most forms of gambling, are banned.

Wasatch Poker Tour Logo

As you can well imagine, creative businesspeople have sought loopholes around these regulations, and they have had a modicum of success. The Wasatch Poker Tour holds tournaments that pay out prizes, like cash and WSOP seats, but it doesn't charge buy-ins and entry fees. Area bars host the events and put up the money, hoping to recoup their costs through sales of food and drink.

Other businesses provide free bingo games with the purchase of a meal. Because the bingo cards technically don't cost patrons any money (at least in the opinion of the organizers of the games), it's not gambling but rather a free promotion. The powers that be are suspicious of this line of reasoning, and there are frequent skirmishes between officials and entrepreneurs.

Restrictions have been placed on these activities, such as the commandment that all “bingo” food purchases must be sold at the going market rates for the cuisine. Limits have been placed on the number of nights per week that such promos can be run.

These forms of “quasi-gambling” are kind of lame, but they're the only legal options for live money gaming in the entire state of Utah – there isn't even a Utah lottery!

For a more graphical presentation of pertinent events in Utah gambling history, take a look at the timeline below:

Timeline of gambling-related events in Utah

Famous Utah Poker Players

Yellow Shooting Star

Utah has such a tiny poker scene that there are hardly any renowned practitioners of the game from the state. The few Utahans who have had notable success in poker seem to have had to move away from their home state in order to pursue their card playing at a higher level. Such was the case with Jared Griener who was born in Provo and grew up in Sandy just outside Salt Lake City.

Jared GrienerJared Griener

Griener, born in 1986, was competitive from a young age, playing first soccer and then taking up swimming. In high school in Lindon, about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, he took second place twice in statewide swim meets whilst simultaneously earning a 3.97 GPA.

Still, Griener has not yet been introduced to poker. It was only while working a sales position in New York in 2007 that he began to play. Even then, he didn't take the game seriously until a few years later when he was a sales manager and had moved to California.

Jared frequented the Los Angeles poker rooms while selling solar equipment. In 2014, he had a great year during which he scooped up more than $100,000 in live tournament prizes, and so he decided to become a poker pro.

Jared Griener's biggest score came in February 2017 at the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic where he placed third in the $10,000 Main Event for prize money of $431,340. Several other six-figure scores over the years have contributed to his career total of $2.4 million in offline tourney winnings, good for first place among Utah players.

Another notable player who was born in Utah is Tony Miles who hails from Ogden although he moved away from the Beehive State while still a youngster. Miles finished second in the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event, losing to John Cynn but still collecting $5 million for his efforts.

Other Types of Online Gambling

Although the primary point of our discussion thus far has been poker, there are plenty of other types of online gambling available for players in Utah like slots, table games, and sports betting. There are numerous online operators to choose from which is why our expert team has researched the available options with great care. Below, you can find our best recommendations for internet casinos and sportsbooks. We only recommend sites that we have personally used.

Online Casinos

Utah is known as one of the most gambling-unfriendly states in the Union. This means that if you want casino action, you won't be able to find any venues within Utah's borders to satisfy this need. Fortunately, though, there are countless online casinos waiting to serve you, and they offer slots, blackjack, roulette, and all your other favorites.

In order to guide you away from dishonest operators and toward those that are honorable and reliable, we have evaluated the market and identified three solid choices below.

1. Cafe Casino - EXCLUSIVE BTC Bonus of 350% up to $5,000
2. Wild Casino - Up to $9,000 in Bonuses on Your First 5 Deposits
3. Ignition Casino - First Deposit Crypto Bonus of 150% up to $1,500 + 25% Reloads for Life

There are other outstanding internet casinos that cater to Utah and the remainder of the United States, and you can read our page devoted to helping you find a trustworthy casino online for further information.

Online Sportsbooks

There's no licensed sports betting in Utah, and given the strong religious nature of most of the electorate, there's no immediate prospect of regulated sportsbooks appearing within the state either. Therefore, you'll have to head online to an international bookmaking firm if you intend to place bets on sports from The Beehive State.

The betting sites available range from the reputable and fair to the shady and unscrupulous. By heading to one of our recommended sportsbooks below, you can avoid any unpleasantness that could arise from picking the wrong sports betting home.

1. Bovada Sports - 75% up to $750 on Your First Deposit With Bitcoin
2. Sportsbetting.ag - Crypto Bonus of 100% up to $1,000
3. Everygame Sports - Get up to $250 on First Three Deposits

Other reliable sportsbooks exist that you can bet at. You can read up on them on this page devoted to offshore USA sportsbooks.

Summary of Online Poker in Utah

In spite of the tough restrictions against gambling enacted by the Utah State Legislature, online poker in Utah is no problem for individuals who want to head onto the internet and play the game they love. Crackdowns have come at the expense of those who maintain illegal gambling facilities within the state rather than people who quietly gamble by themselves without raising a ruckus. Join the Utah online poker site that looks best to you, and then try to run your bankroll up to baller status.

Delicate Arch Delicate Arch in Arches National Park Near Moab, Utah

Frequently Asked Questions

Even after reading our article about online poker in Utah, you may have unanswered questions. Look below for a roundup of some of the most common queries and their answers.

No, Utah has never seriously attempted to initiate an online poker legalization program, and there's no real prospect of a licensed internet poker market developing in the state. As one of the most gambling-unfriendly states in the Union, Utah is an extraordinary longshot to host real money iGaming platforms any time in the near or even distant future.

However, there are still plenty of offshore poker providers that welcome residents of Utah as customers. They are effectively beyond the reach of Utah and U.S. law enforcement, and many of them have been plying their trade without interruption for more than a decade.

Yes, you can play legal online poker from the comfort of your home in Utah. There is some wording in state law that might make it seem that you're at risk if you engage in online gaming, but these provisions of the legal code are never enforced against ordinary online players.

Yes, PokerStars is acting in full accordance with Utah law. However, the only games available to Utahns are those that are denominated in practice chips rather than real money.

You see, after PokerStars was targeted in the Black Friday crackdown against online poker, the company entered an agreement with the Department of Justice whereby it agreed to exit the U.S. real money gaming market except in those states where it has explicit permission to operate.

Yes, Ignition Casino isn't breaking any international laws by transacting in Utah. The U.S. authorities may disagree, but their interpretation of multilateral trade agreements has already been examined by the World Trade Organization and been found wanting.

Irrespective of what the United States government might want or hope for regarding international gaming sites, their ability to actually enforce Federal laws against online poker rooms is virtually nil. As long as the executives at gaming companies refrain from entering the United States, it's basically impossible for law enforcement to take any meaningful action against them. Thus, to all intents and purposes, Ignition is legal in Utah.

Yes, BetOnline is operating legally in Utah. It's subject to the laws of Panama, where it is headquartered, not the United States. According to the legal strictures in place where it is incorporated, BOL is doing nothing wrong by accepting Utah residents to its internet cardroom.

The company says that its games are completely legal in Utah and the rest of the U.S.A. We don't really think this is true however. The intricacies of this debate are too lengthy to delve into here, but you can gain further enlightenment on this topic with our review of Global Poker.

There is no clearly defined minimum gambling age in Utah. This is not because persons of any age can gamble as they wish; rather the reverse. Utah has no legal brick-and-mortar gambling activities, and so there was no need to establish a lower age limit below which gambling is not permitted.

Online real money poker sites, however, are accustomed to serving patrons from countless areas around the world, and so they have had to decide upon a minimum age for gambling. The age that almost all online poker rooms have chosen is 18.

If you're below the age of 18, it would be inadvisable for you to attempt to set up an account with an internet poker site using false personal details. If your deception is detected, which is likely, then your account will be terminated, and you'll probably forfeit your entire cash balance as well.

No, trying to run a gambling business within the borders of Utah would be a most foolhardy idea. When dealing with individual gamblers, it's true that law enforcement within the state takes a hands-off approach, but things change when we're talking about those actively running gambling concerns.

For instance, multiple raids by police in Salt Lake County in February 2020 uncovered a series of illegal gambling machines in eight area stores. The owner of the machines faced charges related to potential money laundering while people who were merely his employees were subject to misdemeanor and felony charges. Unless you wish to run the risk of similar charges being filed against you, we urge you to stay away from the underground Utah gambling scene.

Although standard methods of payments, like credit cards and bank wires, are possible at most online poker sites, we heartily recommend Bitcoin. Bitcoin transactions tend to be faster than those old-school payment channels, and the fees involved are generally much smaller as well.

All of our recommended internet poker destinations for Utah's citizens fully support Bitcoin. Indeed, many of them have also started accepting other crypto-currencies like Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum as well.

Yes, whatever you earn from internet poker is considered income, and you must pay taxes on it. Both the Internal Revenue Service and the Utah State Tax Commission want their cut of your winnings. So unless you want to risk the ire of these government bodies, you ought to pay whatever you owe in income tax.

Offshore poker rooms don't provide tax statements or annual records of wins and losses. This means that the responsibility is on you to calculate what you owe and file the necessary paperwork. If you aren't exactly sure how to treat gambling income for tax purposes, then you should probably solicit the aid of a qualified accountant or tax attorney.

Yes, there are many online poker firms that let you play from your phone or tablet. Even at sites that lack dedicated mobile downloads, there's usually a web-based platform that you can use to play with a variety of hardware, including mobile devices.

In most cases, the mobile version of the software duplicates almost of the functionality of the regular desktop version. Such is the case with Ignition and BetOnline. However, other rooms, like Americas Cardroom and Everygame, have mobile clients that are missing key features of the desktop software.

For the richest playing experience, including smooth multitabling, we usually play on the normal desktop poker software and only log in on mobile when we're away from home.

Yes, Mac-compatible poker software is now a routine sight. Most of the cardrooms that we recommend for Utahans have either a dedicated Mac download or the option to play in your web browser. Even at those sites that don't cater specifically to Mac users, you may be able to run the regular Windows poker client in emulation software, like Parallels.

No, social poker games are treated the same under Utah legal codes as any other form of gambling, and so they're strictly prohibited. That said, it appears that the authorities prioritize busting those games that are run as a business where the house collects a fee or rake. If your home game doesn't make any profit for the person running and organizing it, then you probably won't have any trouble with the law.

Additional Resources

There's relatively little gambling going on in Utah, but you may nevertheless wish to consult these resources:


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!