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The Suite Blog >> US DOJ Plays Online Poker With UIGEA Cards!

 

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April 9, 2009 - When the U.S. government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, most people thought that meant the U.S. Department of Justice was going to start enforcing a ban on internet gambling. Well, that may be true to a certain extent. But then again, who needs to enforce, when you ban blackmail, right?

Notwithstanding the fact that U.S. citizens continue to enjoy gambling online (at reputable offshore online casinos mind you), nor the fact that there really isn't any enforcement protocols in the legislation itself, the UIGEA has been successful in the sense that it has been wielded by the US DOJ as a scare tactic. Several online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks, and more importantly, top shelf software developers (Playtech, Cryptologic, and more recently, Microgaming) have indeed backed out of the U.S. market.

So, in essence, if you really take a close look at the UIGEA, it is simply a blackmailing tool for the US DOJ to scare online gambling operators away. And that's not even the kicker! The U.S. government has been flexing their muscles and talking so much trash, they are now effectively using these same scare tactics in a retroactive manner! Apparently, even those online gaming operators (well, at least the big dogs who have lots of money to pay up), who took bets from U.S. citizens prior to the passing of the UIGEA, are being badgered into paying up retroactive fines!

The latest operator to give in is Party Gaming, who we all know is one of the most successful gaming operations in business today (or at least they were when they dominated the U.S. market). Settling with the U.S. government to pay up $105 million, Party Gaming is all of a sudden admitting its wrong doing, when before the passing of the UIGEA, they - like countless other operators - said that online gambling legislation in the U.S. was a grey area and that the outdated Wire Act did not apply.

It's as if the U.S. government is taxing the online gambling industry but still saying it's illegal. They've even set up a payment plan with Party Gaming - spreading out the $105 million in six easy monthly installments! All of this after settling for $300 million with Party Gaming's co-founder Anurag Dikshit. And on that note (Yes, I'm thinking "dipshit"), I suppose all I can do is laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Originally published: April, 2009 | Categories: Online Poker

 

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