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Online Casino News - August, 2008

New Bill Seeks to Protect Online Casinos Pre-UIGEA

 

 

  Seed Newsvine

by Mira Patel, News Staff Writer

August 1, 2008

Although you could probably class it as pro-online gambling legislation, a recent House Resolution in the U.S. Congress does not necessarily call for regulating online gambling activities in the U.S. What it does do, however, is provide immunity to online casinos, poker rooms and other betting sites (except for those taking sports bets) from Department of Justice prosecution as deemed by the enforcement protocols of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Called the UIGEA Clarification Act, or more formerly as HR6663, the bill has been submitted to the House Committee on the Judiciary, and won't be discussed further until after the Summer congressional recess. When members of Congress return at the start of September, several pieces of online gambling legislation, including Congresswoman Shelley Berkely's Internet Gambling Study Act will be on the table.

Not just anybody would be exempt under the legislation. Only those online gambling operations who ceased taking bets from U.S. citizens after the passing of the UIGEA could potentially walk away without further haggling by the DOJ, such as the case was with Neteller - the leading eProcessor of online gambling revenues on the Web. The only difference is that Neteller continued processing funds for U.S. bettors after the passing of the UIGEA, and only ceased doing so when the DOJ arrested Neteller's founders.

Big name companies like Party Gaming and 888 online casino, who were most certainly dealing with U.S. citizens prior to October 13, 2006, would be let off the hook in the form of millions of dollars if HR6663 were to get passed into law. While it can be argued these companies should pay up anyways (as if they would be paying taxes and fees in a regulated market anyways), the main issue with the UIGEA seems to be in the area of sports betting. Most, if not all of the prosecutions and high profile arrests thus far taken by the DOJ have been sports related.

The UIGEA Clarification Act is a temporary cover for companies who are buying time and secretly hoping the UIGEA either gets overturned of heavily made over. Considering how slow progress has been thus far regarding the Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the Clarification Act may just be the medicine needed to ease the paranoid consciousness' of formerly U.S. facing online casinos.


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