The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 era has begun. Today, the first part of my
online poker and football watching research and writing weekend was interrupted with this message on my computer screen:
The President of the United States has signed legislation that now causes PartyGaming to have to cease taking wagers from US customers. We will also suspend accepting deposits from US customers while we reevaluate our business model for the US and assess potential offerings to US customers that would be within the new law. This will not affect the Play For Free games and we will be seeking to provide additional products and services to our US player community. Non-US players and all Play For Free services will not be affected.
As Tom Bell notes, the Act excludes certain forms of intrastate, intratribal, or interstate horseracing gambling and cannot reach overseas financial services intermediaries (though Firepay will not currently allow payments by U.S. consumers for online gambling merchants). Ultimately, legal alternatives are likely to emerge to satisfy U.S. consumers.Â In addition to Tom Bell’s post, Christine Hurt has been covering this legislation from the start (for example, here and here).