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Have New UIGEA Regulations Legalized Internet Gaming?

by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor

            A unique report on the recent UIGEA regulations by the Kansas City Star has implied that the latest publications this week may have in actuality opened doors for the internet casino gambling industry. The article, entitled “Oops. Did Congress Accidently Legalize Cyber Gambling?” takes an interesting perspective on U.S. gaming law.

            The article makes note of the new federal regulations backing the two year-old Enforcement Act, and how they may facilitate U.S. citizens in accessing internet casinos. One point of interest is the new rule which maintains the “carve-outs” for intrastate online gambling that is authorized by specific states or tribes, and internet gaming is regulated under federal interstate horse racing gambling and state lottery laws. Individual gamers have additionally been excluded from the Act, as the government holds regulation over commercial gambling companies that operate online casinos and virtual bookmakers.

            “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 state raking in a new and lucrative category of tax dollars,” the newspaper article reads.

            “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 may now be handcuffed itself.

            “Legal intrastate gambling may prove to be the game changer that rapidly paves the way to legal interstate and ultimately internation gambling by Americans on the web,” the article continues.

            With land casinos in the states suffering from an ever-declining industry, and facing the current economic crisis, some argue that the internet casino gaming industry worth nearly $8 billion yearly to the U.S. could stimulate the economy. If sufficient pressure were applied to these sovereign states and tribes, under UIGEA regulations, it may be quite possible for the internet gaming market to become available to U.S. citizens.