As of June 1, 2010, American gambling laws have changed. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is now officially in effect. The UIGEA was actually drafted back in 2006 and has been hanging around as a bill. It was meant to pass into law back in December 2009, but the official date was delayed for six months to give lawmakers a chance to regulate the online gambling industry. This regulation never happened, and the bill has become a law.
The UIGEA does not make internet gambling in the US. This is next to impossible, since right now all the online gambling sites accessible to US players are run from foreign countries, where the US government has no jurisdiction. Instead, the law tries to make it difficult for US players to gamble on the internet by going after banks and other financial institutions.
As of yesterday, US banks are officially forbidden from processing financial transactions to and from online gambling sites. Most US banks, however, have already been following the new rules. The only difference between today and last week is that the UIGEA is official. Otherwise, little impact can be seen.
While the UIGEA did have a big effect when it was drafted back in 2006, driving many online gambling software providers out of the United States, this latest event has not changed much. US players still have plenty of online casino payment methods open to them, and do not find it difficult moving their money to and from online gambling sites in the USA, since all transactions outside the US credit system still go through just fine.
One could even compare the compliance date of the UIGEA with the much-hyped Y2K event. It created a lot of excitement and anticipation, but once the zero-hour had come to pass, everybody realized that they had been making a big fuss about nothing.