Online casinos have boomed over the recent years. More players are now getting hooked to online gambling, considering the convenience that it offers to its players. Even those who have not tried land-based casinos find it enjoyable to play at online casinos that provide different games like poker, blackjack, craps, and slots.
Aside from being accessible, players can easily deposit their payments through their credit cards, banks, and Paypal. This alarms the U.S. government, as most gamblers are from the states, and they are unlikely to favor unauthorized gambling.
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)
To stop online gambling in the U.S., Congress implemented the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement (UIGEA) in 2006. The bill does not focus on stopping or banning any online casinos; instead, it aims to ban financial firms within the United States that allow payments and deposits on unauthorized gambling sites. Many online casino companies have suffered through the implementation of the bill.
Though there are still other payment options available, many players are hesitant due to its lengthy process. Congress was able to reduce unauthorized online gambling, but not entirely. There are still small online casinos who were able to continue their operation despite the implementation of the bill.
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UIGEA focuses on banning payment operations between banks and illegal online gambling sites. This means all online casinos and gambling operations licensed to operate in the United States are exempted. Fantasy sports, where players create teams to compete with each other, are exempted as it falls under teams and sports games.
Another gambling site that is exempt from the bill is online horse racing, which was exempt due to the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978. Through this act, online racing betting is legalized by the state and continues to operate. This has drastically changed the online casinos in the market, and its aftermath shows visible results.
Since the implementation of UIGEA, the gamblers and online casinos that operate in the United States have decreased. Though the bill is implemented only for those illegal online gambling sites, many online casinos decided to pull out of their operations. Even if there are other options where players can transfer and deposit their payment, online casinos and gambling sites were limited.
Also, it has a considerable effect on the online economy, considering the significant dropout of revenue due to the decreasing number of players. The implementation of UIGEA indeed lessened the operation of illegal online gambling; however, it did not stop. There is still online betting and gaming in the States, and with the new bill implemented, the exemption from UIGEA expands.
Billions of dollars are still used for online casinos on to this day and other means of online gambling. As the number of online gamblers and players increases, the ongoing operation of online casinos also increases.