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Georgia Poker Laws

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GA_on_my_mindGambling laws in Georgia are nice and simple. It sets out three types of gambling that are illegal, the first one being sports betting, the second being betting on political contests, and the third one addressing betting on games:

“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)

So as far as poker is concerned, that would fall under provision (3), which makes illegal betting for money or anything of value at any game played with cards, and poker is indeed played with cards.


Does This Apply To Online Poker Though?

Does the definition of cards include online depictions of cards though, virtual cards if you will? It’s hard to imagine this not being the case, as among the definition of cards physical cards are only one form, and we normally would call the cards that we are dealt in an online hand as cards, and there really isn’t anything else to call them. Virtual cards are still cards, they are just another form of cards.

There may be some games that are excluded here, for instance slots doesn’t involve using either cards, dice, or balls, but poker indeed does. Contrary to what a lot of people think, it is not necessary at all for the law to specifically mention online poker as being illegal, if poker is illegal, since online poker is a form of poker, online poker would be illegal as well.

So if you are residing in the State of Georgia and you are playing poker for money, which would include playing for money on the internet, then you are in violation of state laws. Like other states which have clear laws making online poker illegal though, this law isn’t being enforced at this time against online players, and players from Georgia continue to play poker online, and online web sites that accept Americans in general continue to accept residents of Georgia at their sites.


Playing Poker In Georgia

Unlike some states, which may have laws against playing poker for money but does allow it to be played at licensed establishments or at Indian casinos, there is no legal poker whatsoever that can be played in the State of Georgia. Playing poker for money here is illegal, period, as is all forms of gambling other than playing the state lottery.

There is also no prospects whatsoever at this time for a bill to be passed in Georgia regulating online poker. Generally states take the first step in permitting live real money poker first, which isn’t on the horizon at all.

In a sense, Georgia is far behind the times as far as gambling is concerned. Even betting on horse racing is illegal here, although state legislators have initiated a bill to seek to make this form of betting legal, but we’re still waiting for even that to happen.

Casinos and poker rooms are much further on the horizon, and online poker perhaps even further out. There are few states as anti-gambling as Georgia is. Even home games are illegal here if money changes hands at all, and it’s not uncommon for live poker games to be busted by the police, although once again this has not happened to any online players.


Where You Can Play Poker In Georgia

Georgia does offer day cruises where once players get offshore, they become free of the strict Georgia state law and can gamble freely. There are two such ships that set sail from Georgia ports, one located in Savannah (2) and the other in Brunswick. (3)

These are both large ships and the people who board them have one thing on their mind and that is to gamble, so there’s lots of action including real money poker. In spite of the laws against gambling, the people of Georgia have found a way around it by just going to sea a little ways where you are no longer in Georgia anymore.

Other than that, residents of Georgia can travel to nearby states to get in on more live poker action.

Of course with the availability of online poker, there’s no need to even leave the comforts of your own home, let alone go to sea or to another state, to enjoy all the excitement that real money poker offers.

There are some states with limited availability of online poker due to some sites not wanting to accept players from these states, but fortunately if you are from Georgia, no online poker site that takes people from the United States has any problem at all with you if you reside in Georgia.

Best Georgia Poker Sites Online

So here are our top recommended online poker sites if you live in Georgia, our top two, and both offer some great action which will have you sitting back on your computer or mobile device and getting in all the real money poker action you can handle.

Ignition Poker has been accepting Georgians since they first opened up in 2016, rebranding from Bovada Poker to the current Ignition name. They offer a 100% bonus up to $1,000 and also offer millions in guaranteed tournaments every week. The software here is one of my personal favorites.

Ignition Poker Online

America’s Cardroom has a mission to be the best card room out there for Americans, and do a good job in trying to live up to its name. There’s less traffic here than at Ignition but they do have plenty enough to make it easy for everyone to find a game or tournament. You’ll be welcomed with up to $1000 in free cash for checking them out.



(1) Georgia Code, 16-12-21

(2) Trade Winds Casino Cruise Savannah

(3) Casino Cruise In Historic Brunswick

About the Author

Sadonna Price
Author Sadonna is a mom of two and an avid poker player who also enjoys online casino games. She has been part of the online gambling industry for over a decade, working as a news and blog writer. Sadonna still plays Texas hold’em in her free time while her daily job revolves around providing insights into the online gambling world using her creativity and writing skills.