UIGEA effectiveness questioned as online gaming increases
Research conducted by com.Score Media Matrix indicates that online gaming in the US has increased by approximately 5% from June 2008, this despite current legislation. An estimated 12 million US citizens are visiting online gaming sites on the internet. It may be that the US government will have to rethink its whole approach towards online gaming, this could after all be a great revenue earner for the government.
Despite the straightened economy and unfriendly legislation, online gaming remains in the top 10 of the fastest growing internet categories in the US. Although online gaming does not top the list, it is a steadily increasing phenomena.
The new UIGEA Clarification Act has been submitted to the House Committee on the Judiciary and will be tabled after the summer congressional recess along with other online gaming related acts. This new bill seems to offer protection from prosecution under the UIGEA to online casinos and other betting sites. The bill specifically excludes sites taking sports bets. Exemption from prosecution will only apply to those online gaming institutes that stopped taking business from US citizens before October 13, 2006. Should the UIGEA Clarification Act be passed into law, well known online casino operators like Party Gaming and 888 online casino, whose clientele prior to October 13, 2006 were mostly US citizens, could be saved millions of dollars.
While the UIGEA Clarification Act may be viewed by some as pro-online gaming, others are hoping that the UIGEA will be overturned or at the very least heavily overhauled.
Most of the high profile cases prosecuted in terms of the UIGEA have been sports related and one could say that perhaps the UIGEA is mostly geared towards the sports betting market rather than online gaming.