Is Online Poker in Utah Legal?
Utah, located in the west of the country is one of the least densely populated states, in fact much of the area still remains uninhabited. However it is one of the fastest growing states in the country. When it comes to gambling, it, along with Hawaii it is completely unique. This is one of the only states where gambling is completely outlawed.
Utah is without a doubt ‘the’ strictest state in the United States when it comes to gambling. Its definition of gambling (later amended to include internet gambling) reads as follows:
“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. 
There is no regulated form of gambling within Utah, every game which can perceived as gambling is illegal. Anybody that participates in any form of gambling is subject to arrest. On the first offence they will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, on the second they will be charged with a Class A offence.
Anybody that profits from illegal gambling (and that can include those that ‘win’ bets) has the potential to be charged with a felony. The strict rules however, which almost everybody within the state abides by, has the result that very few people are actually charged with any offence related to gambling.
Utah is the only state in the country which has passed a law which forbids anybody living within the state from participating in any form of online gambling. This law was passed during the early part of 2012 when all legislation which referred to as gambling in Utah law would now include all forms of internet and online gaming.
In addition to this, a charge was created in law (Section 76-10-1102(3)) which completely forbids any website from providing online gambling to anybody within the state of Utah. There are very few companies willing to flounce this law and thus it is particularly difficult for anybody living within the state to play any form of gambling online.
Casinos and Live Poker
In Utah, both Casinos and Live Poker are completely illegal and there are ‘gambling’ raids carried out fairly regularly to help combat the situation. Anybody that gambles within the state is subject to pretty harsh penalties which can, and often do, include jail time. As per the legislation, only poker or gaming which has no money at stake is legal.
It is highly unlikely that Utah will ever over turn its gambling laws. It is one of the most vocal states in the United States when any legislation is proposed which aims to regulate online gambling. Many of the population also seem to be against the idea of gambling and thus if you live in Utah don’t expect legislation to change any time soon.