UIGEA and RAWA news and analysis

In September 2006, the United States House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation that would make it illegal for financial institutions to conduct monetary transactions with online gambling sites. This legislation, termed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), was "tacked on" in the final hours (shortly before adjourning for the midterm elections) as an amendment to the unrelated and virtually unstoppable SAFE Port Act, which was intended to improve the security of American ports. The Act was signed into law by then U.S. President Bush on October 13, 2006. The specific UIGEA part of the Act can be read here.

Several large online gambling operators including 888.com, Party Gaming and Bwin immediately stopped accepting bets from U.S. customers, and saw their stock prices tumble accordingly. However, many other operators have continued to accept customers from the United States despite the legal uncertainty this law has created.

Curiously, no part of the UIGEA defines what exactly "unlawful Internet gambling" is and no part of the Act prohibits anyone from gambling online. A couple of years of hindsight has revealed the effects of this legislation to be:

  • A minor inconvenience for U.S. players who would like to play poker or casino games online;
  • A flourishing industry of smaller, less visible, and largely unregulated operators happy to accept customers from the USA;
  • Most of the largest, most professional, and well regulated operators unwilling or unable to accept U.S. customers;
  • Billions of potential tax revenue lost by State and Federal U.S. governments.

Below you can find an archive of all UIGEA related news articles we have posted to the site.

Spencer Bachus comments on 60 Minutes poker story

Spencer Bachus, the anti-online gambling representative from Alabama, was quick to respond to last weekend's 60 Minutes program on Internet poker, posting a statement on his website.

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More criticism of 60 Minutes "illegal online poker" claim

The Toronto Sun newspaper has joined the chorus of criticism mounting against claims in the recent 60 Minutes television program that Internet gambling is illegal in the United States and Canada.

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Annual study shows youth internet gambling remaining low in USA

The latest annual National Annenberg Survey of Youth shows that the incidence of youthful Internet gamblers remains at the low levels experienced following last year's "precipitous decline."

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Expert lawyer: Obama more likely to repeal UIGEA

Anthony Cabot, a highly respected Las Vegas lawyer known for his extensive knowledge of the Internet gaming industry, this week voiced his opinion on the likely influence that presidential candidates McCain and Obama may have on the industry if elected.

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Payment Service Protection Act on hold as congress deals with financial meltdown

Barney Frank's HR6870 Payment Service Protection Act will probably not be voted on this congressional session despite its successful 30 -19 vote in the House Financial Services Committee on September 16.

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Senate action for Menendez proposal to legalise and regulate online poker

Senator Robert Menendez's attempt to legalise online poker in the United States advanced to the Senate this week with the introduction of the New Jersey Democrat's bill S. 3616, the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act.

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iMEGA opens new chapter in the fight against UIGEA

The Internet freedom pressure group Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA) has filed its brief with the US Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit, in the matter of iMEGA v. Keisler, et al. The suit is the latest move by the industry association, which has been granted legal standing in a previous hearing and now challenges the constitutionality of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).

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Frank's HR 6870 passes mark-up process through to the House

NOT FOUND: barney.jpgCongressman Barney Franks’s latest attack on the UIGEA - HR6870 Payments System Protection Act - has passed its mark-up stage in the House Financial Services Committee and is on its way to the House, after heated debate and a positive vote of 30 - 19 this week.

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Biden's son no longer lobbying for Party Gaming says Obama campaign

The Barak Obama presidential campaign reacted quickly to reports Friday that Hunter Biden, son of Obama's vice-presidential running mate Senator Joe Biden, was associated with lobbying activities to legalise online gambling for client Russ De Leon, a shareholder in the Party Gaming group.

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September 16 markup for Frank's Payment System Protection Act

Congressman Barney Frank's latest legislative attempt to bring some precision and sense to the controversial UIGEA and its ambiguous regulations has been given a fast ride to a markup session by the House Committee on Financial Services, which Frank chairs.

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