Well folks, it’s a done deal. After several delays and a final campaign to reverse it, UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) went into full effect on June 1st, 2010. What, if any, are the effects it’s had on the Internet gambling scene in the United States?
John Pappas, executive director for the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), stated: “I think we’ve seen very little impact on the ability of Americans to play poker on the Internet…For many Internet poker sites and players, the ill effects of the UIGEA were felt several months ago if not several years. Most sites migrated to other responsible payment systems and the players migrated to that as well”.
Many companies pulled out of the American market before UIGEA went into effect to avoid any possible legal problems. And several prosecutions of company executives, such as PartyGaming and Sportingbet, had already taken place before UIGEA went into effect.
Also, some prepaid and reloadable gift cards are now being rejected, where before they weren’t. Some credit cards are also now declined for the first times.
Glen Farmer, of USAPlayers.com, states that many online sites have raised their minimum deposit requirements. He says that this tactic affects the low stakes players, those who play for mostly entertainment, and not for the sake of gambling.
Online casino and internet poker sites are reporting very few problems, and none since June 10th.
There are some rather unexpected problems arising from the enactment of UIGEA.
While online horse racing betting was exempted from the effects of UIGEA, some banks and payment processing centers, are rejecting some of the horse race betting.
So while the major problems feared by many have not materialized, there are problems surfacing with UIGEA. Most of them are caused by the ambiguity of the way the law is written, while others point to the problems of having banks and other financial firms forced to enforce the law.