Why do some online betting companies refuse USA clients? The 'Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006'
On September 29, 2006 the US Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. It was sneaked in as an attachment to the port security bill.
On October 13, 2006 the president signed this Act off and online betting companies were effectively forbidden from accepting deposits from USA citizens. Financial institutions will not be allowed to help transfer funds to online gambling companies on behalf of USA residents.
The act makes it illegal for banks and credit card companies to approve payments for on-line gambling sites.
The Act makes the receipt of money in connection with unlawful internet gambling unlawful, but it does not clarify the definition of unlawful gambling. Remember, these companies are licensed legally in their native jurisdictions.
Party Gaming, parent of the famous Party Poker, and the largest online poker site in the world, has ceased accepting USA clients. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 has forced Sportingbet Plc to follow and others have also ceased accepting USA clients.
Despite the USA government's prohibitionist approach to the online betting industry it is inevitable it will have to accept online betting eventually - just like they had to accept alcohol. Times don't change.
The USA has not followed the lead of enlightened nations such as the United Kingdom which have welcomed, regulated and taxed the online betting industry. Instead, with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, America seeks to stop its residents gambling online in a draconian attack on an individual's right to choose.
The blinkered USA authorities may have won this skirmish but, as usual, they will not win the war.