UIGEA Repercussions

In 2006 the US government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act or UIGEA, effectively rendering online gambling illegal for American citizens. While there are some ways to get around the law, it makes it incredibly difficult for many players to access and bet on the games they used to love. The repercussions of this law have been far reaching, and anyone who is interested in online casinos should be familiar with the law's impact.

Making Gambling Illegal

The UIGEA emerged out of a handful of smaller laws that restricted American access to internet gambling. Though previous laws had placed some limitations on online casinos, they were too ambiguous to do much to curb the rapidly evolving technology. The UIGEA managed to unambiguously target the financial arm of online gambling, preventing Americans from using credit cards, wire transfers, or direct transfers from their bank accounts to fund their casino accounts. Without financing, bets could not be placed and Americans would not be able to gamble online.


Some enterprising casinos and their customers have found some ways to comply with the law without disrupting their business. American players have been encouraged to set up electronic wallet accounts and use them to fund their bets online. Other casinos are willing to comply with the requirements of the UIGEA and offers only games to American customers with paid memberships. Instead of betting with real money, they use chips to sometimes win cash prizes.

The UIGEA has stifled a lot of the American activity in internet gambling, but online casinos continue to thrive with their international clientele. Americans, though. will have to wait until the law is overturned to again gain access to most online casinos.