The rise of online casino gaming swept the globe in 1996. The United States had played a significant role in this, and many gamblers had shifted their whole gambling experience to online casinos.
For many years, these casinos remained open for business. Unfortunately, legislation was passed in 2006 that made it slightly more difficult for online casinos to operate. This legislation, which was tacked on to the Safe Port Act, was dubbed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and it became a thorn in the side of online gamblers, online casinos, and payment processors.
In a nutshell, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, or UIGEA, barred banks and payment processors from conducting transactions related to online gambling. This has made not only loading accounts but also withdrawing them very difficult. While internet casinos in the United States have continued to operate, they have been forced to employ payment processors that work around the limitations. Sadly, the UIGEA was not even slated to take into effect until December of 2009, thinking the ramifications of the legislation had fall out that would be nothing short of catastrophic for many online gaming enterprises, especially those who relied significantly on the United States market.
The UIGEA had hampered several operations around the world that relied on the American market to stay profitable while limiting losses. The repercussions ran deep, hurting several corporations managing these casinos.
Not only had some of the larger, publicly traded online casinos seen a significant drop in their share prices, which harmed their shareholders, but they had also lost profits from the US market. PartyGaming comes to mind, but other prominent gambling companies have also suffered losses. Moreover, despite the fact that these companies were headquartered outside of the United States, numerous individuals in charge of several online casinos, including Anurag Dikshit, one of the early founders of PartyGaming, had been indicted and punished for their involvement in online gambling. Payment processors were also hit hard, as several of these financial firms were targeted by the federal government, which resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in seizures in some cases. Unfortunately, the UIGEA was not even used in many of these seizures. Rather, it was the 1961 Wire Act, which was enacted years before the Internet began to take shape as we know it today.
Despite the fact that laws were being enacted to restrict online casino gambling, several online casinos continued to welcome players from the United States. While several of the larger online casino brands had their licenses revoked in the United States, many others have remained consistent in their commitment to provide casino games to Americans. Although there are still some online casinos operating in the United States, the selection has become limited. Online casinos that welcome American players had to give a higher-quality service in order to focus on a niche market. Having said that, those online casinos have had to outclass older forms of casino software that have abandoned the American market.