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Online Gambling and the UIGEA

Of all the laws in the United States that pertain to online gambling, perhaps the most restrictive, if not revolutionary, is the UIGEA. This is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Even if it has been enforced only a few months since it has been passed, the law has caused a lot of trouble and turmoil in the online gambling world. However, a full and comprehensive understanding of what UIGEA is exactly about is almost non-existent. This is why you first have to understand what UIGEA is all about, before you even form an opinion about it.


The Law Recapitulated

The UIGEA was swiftly passed during the Bush Administration approximately along summertime of 2007. Rather than cracking on the online casinos which provide their services to an international community in general, the law serves to impede the financial transactions by blocking the intermediaries – as in banks and online e-wallets. In the Act, banks that are to receive money for online gambling are supposed to deny the acceptance of such. In short, there will be a monitoring of financial transactions by the banks to ensure that the money is not meant for online gambling.


The Reasons

The reason why the UIGEA was passed is because of state protection. By state protection, that means the protection of the US citizens, particularly the minors. According to valid reports, there are minors that get to play in online casinos since the way financial transactions are organized through these banks are not strict at all. Perhaps this is why the intermediaries are the main focus of the Act – to ensure that the go-between of money will be blocked before it even goes into the hands of the online casinos.


Criticisms and Accolades

As is expected from a restrictive law such as this, many Republicans laud the move, while a lot of opposing groups have stood up in their offense. Why the Republicans laud such effort is not surprising. The Act was passed swiftly, mainly because the Bush Administration is largely Republican, as well as the President himself. However, the opposing groups have been criticizing the law. There are also opposing members in the Senate and in the Congress. First of all, due process was reportedly not performed. It was an Act that received little, if no, attention because it simply did not go through the required Readings in the Congress and Senate – according to the opposing groups, that is. More than that, it also prevents non-minors from playing in online casinos. Finally, it will encroach on the private affairs of all US citizens that transact through banks, since the recipient of the money will have to be magnified, as stipulated by the law.



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