News on UIGEA

The Kansas City Star had an interesting read on the UIGEA regulations published this week and currently receiving widespread mainstream media coverage; instead of curtailing online gambling in the United States, these rules may actually open up new avenues of Internet gambling business!

Under the title "Oops. Did Congress accidentally legalize cyber gambling?" the newspaper opines that the new federal regulations backing the two-year-old UIGEA and outlawing online gambling might achieve precisely the opposite effect.

In an interesting article, the Kansas City Star notes that the new rule perpetuates the carve-outs for intrastate cyber gambling that is authorised by sovereign states or tribes, and sanctions online wagering under federal interstate horse racing gambling and state lottery laws.

The rules also exempt individual gamblers from enforcement, baring the government's regulatory teeth only at commercial gambling companies that operate cyber casinos and cyber bookie joints.

"It therefore appears that individual states and tribes operating gambling interests are quite free under these new rules to let the cyber dice roll - and start raking in a new and lucrative category of tax dollars," the newspaper concludes.

"Nevada, New Jersey and a handful of other states have been held back so far only by threats of prosecution from the Justice Department - which now may be handcuffed itself.

"Legal intrastate gambling may prove to be the game changer that rapidly paves the way to legal interstate and ultimately international gambling by Americans on the Web."

With US land casino revenues under increasing pressure in the tough economic environment, an Internet gambling market in the US worth some $8 billion a year could ameliorate at least some of the problems if sufficient pressure were applied to states that, under the UIGEA regulations, appear to have the power to decide for themselves whether to regulate or not.

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