As a matter of fact, online poker is still legal just as any other type of gambling at online casinos. I will explain why this is legal and how US players are being misinformed about what is legal or not. You may have remembered the Anti-Gaming laws passed in 2006 which tried to cut down on the online gambling industries and banks that process deposits and withdrawals. In fact, this law does not effect US citizens, nor can they be punished by this law.
The Anti-Gaming legislation was designed to clamp down on online gambling by taking advantage of some loopholes in the US Constitution. By law, the government doesn’t have a say in what you can do in your own home or with your own money to some extent, especially with gambling online. So they couldn’t shut down online casinos and prevent players from playing there that way. Instead, they went around the system and targeted the banks instead.
It is the banks that would receive punishments and the laws are directed towards them. They are not supposed to transfer money between customers and gambling outfits, so big online e-cards like Neteller stopped providing funding services for gambling.
Poker on the other hand is considered a game of skill and not pure gambling. Players can still deposit money into these places with credit cards, money orders, electronic checks and other methods, so there is nothing to worry about there. With casinos though, there are other ways to get money into these places without using big name banks like Neteller. Each casino has their own payment methods that you have to look into. The reason that they generally do not accept US players is not because it is illegal for them, but because it is very inconvenient to get a good payment method because there are so few banks that cater to US players. Instead, they have to use smaller, relatively unknown sources instead.
So if you are located in the US, there are a few good poker rooms such as Pokerstars and Carbon Poker where you can simply sign up, deposit money and play with no questions asked. So yes, online poker is legal in the US.