No forms of gambling are legal in Utah. There is not even a lottery there. Most Utah poker players are close to gambling in other states. Nevada borders Utah to the west, while Colorado and Arizona also have poker. Wyoming’s poker room in Riverton is also an option for players in the northern section of the state. This Riverton casino offers just one cash game table, although there are nine tables available for tournaments.
Is Online Poker Legal in Utah?
Utah updated its criminal code in 2012 to specifically ban online gambling. It went a step further by preventing the governor from entering into a gaming compact with other states. If a federal online poker bill is ever passed by Congress then Utah has automatically opted out.
This makes future online poker nearly impossible, especially since the bill passed the Utah House by a 62-10 vote and passed the Senate unanimously. Several online poker rooms left the Utah market when this bill was passed. These include Bovada, Revolution Gaming and the Merge Gaming Network.
Where Can You Play Online Poker in Utah?
The only online poker network that we recommend for Utah players is Winning Poker. Americas Cardroom is one of the best known skins on WPN. It is owned by one of the most financially strong online gaming companies in the world. New players will receive a 100% up to $1,000 first deposit bonus.
In addition to free cash, players will be entered into Americas Cardroom’s Elite Benefits VIP program. Elite Benefits gives players points for simply being dealt into the hand. These points may be used to enter tournaments, purchase prizes or simply be exchanged into cash.
TheBeast is another promotion offered by Americas Cardroom. Players earn points based on the limit played. The top 500 or so point earners divide a player pool that exceeds $100,000 each month. TheBeast tables are available in No Limit Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha formats. There is also a Bad Beat Jackpot where a player that loses quad 8’s or better when both players use both hole cards will win. Bad Beat Jackpots are progressive and run as high as $500,000.
Live Poker Scene in Utah
You cannot legally play live poker anywhere in Utah. Even social and charity poker games are illegal. Luckily for poker enthusiasts in Utah, Nevada is nearby. West Wendover is a short drive from Salt Lake City. Players in southern Utah can drive to Mesquite or an hour further to Las Vegas. Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming all offer poker rooms that are within a few hour’s drive of Utah’s border.