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The UIGEA Explained

The UIGEA may appear illegible or as an ugly term, but it is really a shortened version of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Online gambling is rather a complicated issue as it relates to regulations, as laws regarding online casinos are rather difficult to implement. It should be noted that the UIGEA does not outlaw online gambling, but refers to the transfer of funds to online gambling locations.

UIGEA Prohibits the Transfer of Funds

The UIGEA of 2006 actually bans the transfer of funds from a U.S. financial institution to an online gambling location. This particular law in itself does not prohibit online gambling however, before this legislation, online gambling was illegal in the U.S. The UIGEA attempts to provide the means for these online gambling laws to be enforced. Once one looks into the matter in more detail, it appears that there are certain exceptions to the UIGEA prohibition, namely horse racing and online lotteries. Why should an online lottery be any different than online poker, for instance? As far as the UIGEA relates to the transfer of funds from financial institutions, once again let us say, why should blackjack be different from horseracing? I do not have the answer to these questions, but it certainly does not appear to be just.

Confusion from the UIGEA

The UIGEA has created a great deal of confusion and also anger among online casino players. It should be noted that this Act may only affect money transferred for online games that are played for real money and therefore considered gambling. Any games that are played for free and no money is necessary, are not considered a part of the equation. The UIGEA only concerns the transfer of funds. Following this legislation, difficulties were noted for players wishing to fund their online gambling account.

Following the UIGEA, many poker rooms have disappeared from the U.S. online arena, such as Party Poker. Some online casino sites, situated outside the US, have chosen to ignore the UIGEA and continue operations as usual.

Opposition to the UIGEA

There has been a great deal of opposition to the UIGEA including challenges to this legislation. There are also efforts out there to legalize online gambling, even though such labors are far from fruition. The matter of the UIGEA reached the World Trade Organization when Antigua brought up a case against the U.S. The small island of Antigua claimed that through banning online gambling, possible revenues of this small country are drastically affected. Antigua claimed that if online gambling has been prohibited in the U.S. for moral reasons, then it is incomprehensible why lotteries and horse racing should still be permitted. The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA) have also opposed the UIGEA, claiming that it prevents Americans from living their own lives as they would wish, in the privacy of their own homes.

Discussions, complaints and controversy continue in the ongoing issue of the UIGEA.

Josh Kingsley - Executive Editor weeklyTimeStamp(false,1188298562,true)?>

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