The Effect on American Gamblers
The effect was immediate. The DoJ made a number of arrests on high-profile business owners, although it soon became
apparent that the arrests were not only sportsbook related only, but also came with charges outside the boundaries
of the new UIGEA which wasn't due to be enforced until later (eventually June 1st 2010). This was seen by many
observers as primarily being scare tactics, but they proved very effective.
Some of the biggest and safest online casinos
immediately pulled out of the USA. All the UK bookmakers went first followed by the not inconsiderable number of
following a not altogether popular directive from the software provider itself.
A year later, Microgaming casinos
were made to follow suit and by the end of 2007,
only a handful of decent casinos were left.
The main issue now faced for Americans was security. In most States, they were - and still are - able to gamble online
legally, although clearly the USA was trying to ensure that US money stayed in the USA by discouraging the activity.
By 2006, the online gambling industry, although largely self-regulated, was relatively clean with rogue operations
generally well hidden from view by the safe, serious and ultimately trustworthy operators. The UIGEA scared most of the
"clean" operators away, leaving the door open for the less scrupulous operators to compete on a more level playing
field with the few remaining good operators.
It is probably worth stating at this point that a large number of legitimate online casinos didn't have a choice
in pulling out - the software providers that they licenced from ,most notably Wagerworks (IGT), Microgaming and
Playtech made it a condition of the licence renewal.
Clearly the repurcussions of this are obvious. Americans have not only found it more difficult to find a
trustworthy online casino but complaints through player dispute channels have escalated considerably. There are
still a couple of Realtime Gaming casinos
who take US players
according to some sources but they don't advetise and they are not licenced to do so.