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.

Bill to legalise online poker in California passes to next committee

Good news from the Sunshine State this week is that AB2026, a bill to legalise Internet poker in California proposed by Democrat assemblyman Lloyd E. Levine, passed the state Senate Governmental Organization Committee in a 7-to-1 vote this week.

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Anti-UIGEA regulations Bill (HR5767) defeated

NOT FOUND: barney.jpgThe defeat of Barney Frank's attempt to halt the implementation of the UIGEA regulations dominated Thursday's mainstream press headlines around the world. The House Financial Services Committee attempt to require federal regulators to write a uniform definition of which types of gambling should and should not be allowed on the Internet, ended in a tied vote and, consequently, defeat under committee rules.

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Online gambling foe Bachus accused of misinformation

The American Banker published an op-ed article by Republican Congressman Spencer Bachus this week which contained misinformation regarding the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, according to the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative (SSIGI).

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