Times Rich List Reflects the Industry’s State Post UIGEA
The online gambling industry is making billions of dollars in revenues from international business everywhere and things are looking up. However, things have been even better in the past. Many would argue that the industry is now in a better place than it used to be, and that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, by causing gambling firms to relocate their business to foreign markets, has driven the industry into the international marketplace. That being said, the Times Rich List for 2007 has been released and many online gambling executives are not located as high as they used to be – and that alone is an indication. True, Richard Koch did step up and is now listed at 545, but other executives are showing a different inclination.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act made it illegal for banking companies to deal with firms that offer online gambling to American citizens. This has caused a reaction, which legislators were hoping for, from the industry. Gambling firms decided that working in the United States market is not possible anymore and that offering their services to foreign markets would be the best solution. This way we got an international online casino industry that caters to most countries in the world, except the United States. Companies that based their business on the American market were the ones to suffer the most while firms that already focused on multiple markets found it easier to relocate.
This major change had a direct impact on the industry’s revenues and the Times Rich List shows just that. For example, Vikrant Bhargava, a co-founder of one of the biggest firms in the market, was forced to sell a large percentage of his shares of the company, and consequently is located lower than he was back in 2006. Bhargava was located in the 106th place on the last listing, but now only shows on the 257th position. This reflects the majority of the online casino industry in the wake of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.