The UIGEA Turns 10

As one of the most significantly insignificant pauses in gambling history, it’s noteable that the law passed known as the UIGEA has turned ten years old. Many were affected by the passing of this law and some are still feeling the effects from it. The UIGEA was enacted as a part of another law that was totally unrelated. Not only was it slipped into the law, but it was done last minute. It was signed into law in October 2006 and has remained untouched for the ten year duration.

There were several things that happened when the law went into effect. Indirectly, casinos were closed down (mainly those offering gaming to USA online casino players.) It also resulted in some casino owners to serve restitution, some domain names were seized and there were several other forms of punishment served as well. The way the law was written has always been complicated to understand and in some cases, this resulted in payment processing companies walk away from casinos entirely.

Banks and payment processors became confused as to whether or not they were allowed to handle gambling transactions or not. To be safe, and to protect their businesses, some decided that it was the better choice to just completely block all transactions that have to do with online casinos. In addition to payment processors declining online casino payments, some casinos decided to stop accepting United States online casino players as well.

On a day in 2011, now referred to as “black Friday” seemed to have shaken the gaming industry for good. There were many lives shaken and people were incarcerated unlawfully by the Department of Justice. The crackdown resulted in casinos closing and other bans being put into place. Shortly after the seizures took place, the state of New Jersey opened online casinos for citizens within their state. Recognizing the benefits of online gaming, the state wanted to try their hand at keeping the revenue within their state to be used for improvements. Unfortunately, when their casinos were opened, many of the payment processing companies refused to get involved. This created frustration for the players and the casino operators. Ultimately, a safe harbor was made available which made it clear that payment processors were, in fact, eligible to work with the New Jersey online casinos.