Lifeline Of The US Online Gambling Law

December 19, 2011

In 1996 we saw a surge of internet casinosthat swept thru the whole world. The US saw a huge increase in both online casinos and players. This surge of internet players worried the land-based casino owners and they lobbied to have it stopped or at least slowed down. They knew if this pace continued they’d see more of a decline in profits. So they lobbied Congress hard and in 2006 The United States passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (or UIGEA).

The UIGEA act prohibited all of the banks and payment processors from processing any kind of transactions associated with internet gambling. This created a problem for gamblers in reloading and withdrawing money from their internet accounts. While the companies continued to operate they had to use payment processors that could circumvent such restrictions. Despite all of these laws related to internet gambling, some internet casinos continued to take gamblers in the USA.

Conversely, many of the bigger internet brands left the United States market, the choices for players became incredibly limited. Many said it was very hard to find a good online casino. Alot of ratings sites began to show up that directed players to the sites they so desperately looked for. Some of these sites were superior to others, but they served the need that was created. Shortly after the industry started to stabilize and gamblers were playing online again, Black Friday hit the internet gambling world.

Quite a few casinos had found a way around the deposit and withdrawal problems and the online gambling world was growing once again. Many started to feel invincible to this new law. The government was not really enforcing it and it appeared like they had no intentions starting. That was certainly a false feeling of security for both the players and online casinos. April 15, 2011, will be remembered in history as the day the internet gambling industry was punished and punished hard. It was the beginning of a new era. The United States Department of Justice charged the principals of the three largest poker rooms Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker with bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses, and laundering billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds. The DOJ seized their domains and their funds. Suddenly many US players were not just left with nowhere to gamble and no way to recuperate their funds.

Black Friday forced even more gambling brands to depart the USA Market. Everyone was once again scrambling to find new places to play, worried when they would ever get their funds back, and wondering if anybody was going to stay in the United States market. A major blow was struck to online gaming and many people wondered if it would survive. Again the rating sites played a significant role in discovering places for players to play. Now the market was very limited and it was a struggle to find online sites. Once again the market slowly started to stabilize and things settled down a bit. The market was damaged but survived.

Another major event was Gray Monday. Grey Monday saw more domain names and gambling operations seized. There was clearly two main disparities with these seizures. This time both big and small sites were seized. Numerous sectors in the industry were seized including online poker, casinos, sports books and also bingo. Basically nobody was safe now. Now the size of the company did not matter anymore. Nor did the industry you’re in. This round of seizures was felt by everyone throughout the gambling industry. The full effects of this seizure have not been felt yet but there’s now even less online us casinos available. Will the industry survive? It remains to be seen but it’s been hit hard.

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