Back in 1996, the explosion of online casino gambling swept the world. The United States had been a large part of this, and many gamblers had turned to online casinos for all of their gaming. For many years, these casinos continued to be played unabated. Unfortunately, back in 2006, legislation was passed that made it slightly difficult for online casinos to continue to operate. This legislation, sneaked in by piggyback through the Safe Port Act, would be named the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and it became a thorn in the side of the online gambler, the online casino, and all payment processors there in.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, or the UIGEA, had, in a nutshell, prohibited banks and payment processors from processing transactions that would correlate to online gambling. This has not only complicated loading accounts, but also withdrawing. While USA online casinos have continued to operate, they have had to use payment processors that would circumvent these restrictions. Sadly, the UIGEA was not even set to go into effect until December of 2009, thought the implications of the legislation had fall out that would be nothing short of catastrophic for many online gambling companies, especially those that relied heavily on the United States market.
The UIGEA had hamstrung many of the operations around the world that utilized the American market in order to stay ahead in profits, all the while keeping losses to a low. The implications ran deep, damaging many companies operating these casinos. Not only had some of the larger, publicly traded online casinos taken a major hit to the price per share, which in turn hurt the shareholders of those companies, but also cost the companies profits from the United States Market. PartyGaming comes to mind specifically, though other large gambling firms had taken a hit. Additionally, many executives in charge of several of the online casinos, including Anurag Dikshit, one of the early founders of PartyGaming, had been indicted and fined for their involvement in online gambling – despite the fact that these companies had been based outside of the United States. Payment processors had also been significantly impacted, as many of these financial companies had taken a blow from federal persecution, which, in some cases, amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in seizures. Sadly, the UIGEA had not even been invoked in many of these seizures. Rather, the Wire Act of 1961, a law that had been passed years before the Internet was even beginning to develop into what we see today.
Despite the laws that had begun to inhibit online casino gambling, many online casinos continued to accept USA players. While several of the larger brands of online casino had been stripped from the United States market, many others had remained steadfast in their dedication to delivering casino gaming to the American market. Though there are online casinos still operating in the USA, the choice has become limited. In order to focus on a marginal market, online casinos accepting American players had to provide a service of higher quality. That having been said, those online casinos have had to outclass the older forms of casino software that had removed themselves from the American market.