What is the UIGEA? It stands for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which was passed in 2006 by congress and signed by then president George W. Bush. It was actually slipped into the Safe Ports Act at the last minute. Many legislators didn’t have a clue what they passing at the time of their vote and many later said they wouldn’t have voted for it. The law was so controversial that the implementation of the law was postponed several times and even went for a vote to have the law repealed. Luckily now as more are becoming aware of what online poker really is (a game of skill) there is much consideration of making poker except from the UIGEA.

Here is excerpt from Wikipedia giving details on the bill.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (or UIGEA) is United States legislation regulating online gambling. It was added as Title VIII to the SAFE Port Act which otherwise regulated port security. It “prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.”[1] The act specifically excludes fantasy sports, that meet certain requirements, and legal intra-state and inter-tribal gaming. It does not expressly mention state lotteries; nor does it clarify whether inter-state wagering on horse racing is legal.

[1] “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act”. Examination Handbook Section 770. U.S. Treasury Department. http://www.ots.treas.gov/_files/422372.pdf. Retrieved 2011-01-07.

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