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UIGEA strikes again!

30 November 2010 by admin

This is another attempt by the federal government to crack down on financial institutions and services who have been known to allow U.S. citizens to use their services to gamble online. The last online payment services company that felt the heat for processing transactions to and from online casinos was NETeller in 2007.

And here is the thing with the whole NETeller episode—UIGEA was not technically “live” in 2007. Yes, those Republicans had sneaked it in on the tail end of a border protection bill and it was signed into law. But UIGEA was not enacted until June of this year. But such little technicalities as a bill being enacted or not does not stop Republicans in their quest to tell us what is morally best for U.S. citizens.

So the NETeller saga began with the U.S. Department of Justice seizing $55 million in funds from the online payment services site, and U.S. users were not able to access their accounts to withdraw their own money and close their accounts. After a year of negotiations between the U.S. Department of Justice and NETeller was NETeller allowed to pay a fine to the federal government and then allowed to return access to U.S. users in order for U.S. users to retrieve their funds.

And now the same saga is unfolding for eWalletXpress—U.S. users unable to access their accounts, the U.S. Department of Justice gearing up to levy fines and seize funds, and the potential for a year or more until U.S. users can access their own money.

Obviously the federal government wants and needs funds. But rather than repealing UIGEA and regulating and taxing online gambling, they would rather put the burden of UIGEA on financial institutions and services so that the U.S. Department of Justice can ‘catch’ sites such as eWalletXpress and NETeller ‘helping’ U.S. citizens gamble online in order to seize funds and levy fines. It just seems like a sneaky and cumbersome way for the federal government to try to have its cake and eat it too: get money and continue saving U.S. citizens from themselves.

While the U.S. Department of Justice creates all kinds of a hassle for eWalletXpress in their quest to keep online gambling away from its citizens, the real people that are the victims here are the U.S. citizens with accounts at eWalletXpress. If what happens to NETeller happens to eWalletXpress, U.S. citizens will not be able to access their own money, which is highly unfair since there is no law that says U.S. citizens cannot use online payment service sites…yet.

For now all we can do is sit back and see how much money the U.S. Department of Justice seizes from eWalletXpress for aiding citizens in online gambling transactions and how long negotiations will take before U.S. citizens are allowed to have their own money back. Then UIGEA will continue on its quest to beat back online payment service sites until U.S. citizens truly are cut off from online gambling.

One Response to “UIGEA strikes again!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    let us suggest to UIGEA to have a different platform if they don’t really want to legalize online gambling. Perhaps there are many ways to lessen the gambling issues if that’s what they’re worrying about