Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006

Rollo

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Well, I'm starting this thread for those who want to analyze the the text of the beast and debate the likely fallout. This is a big deal for the industry any way you look at it and things are going to change.

After a more careful reading of the measure, here's what I gather.

1) If a casino, sportsbook, poker room, bingo, lottery or other gambling entity (save horse betting and fantasy sports) accepts any money from a US player, they are subject to fines and up to 5 years in prison. (I'm assuming this includes everyone from the employee who took the wager up to the chairman of the board). Therefore, this bill has effectively made all forms of online gambling illegal. That is they commit a US crime the moment they accept a payment in one of the proscribed ways from a US player in order to take a bet. I'm not sure if this includes players who send money, but it looks like it might. It is sort of ambiguous but they do say any bet “initiated” (it’s the players who initiate bets) or received, but defers to state law were there is a conflict.

It won’t end online gambling, just take its biggest market out of play for large scale operations that fear prosecution. Foreign betting will continue as usual and fly-by-nighters catering to US clients will now have a space to make a come back. Online gambling will likely go from a 12 billion industry and growing to a 5 billion dollar industry and shrinking for a while as the big boys stop taking US wagers.

2) Firepay and Neteller are screwed. They won't go out of business and what they do has not been criminalized. However they will in short order be "blacklisted" so that any attempted transfer to them within the US jurisdiction will not be honored. i.e. a check, money order, wire, credit card etc. The DOJ can seek to block transactions in District Court for whomever it thinks is facilitating the transfer of US money to offshore gambling. I assume the banks will voluntarily comply. So large scale professional outfits like Neteller and Firepay (sitting ducks) will not be able to effectively operate as all financial lines to them can be blocked which will kill a majority of their business. Since gambling was their reason for being, I assume their days are numbered as now they must complete with better services (i.e. Paypal and the upcoming Google service).

3) ISPs, web hosts, etc. are totally exempt from any criminal penalties as well as any obligation to police their space, but I assume most US hosts will not want to host gambling related sites any longer and will start including this in their terms. This doesn’t include sites where actual wagering takes place which is criminal. This could even affect the domain names of gambling entities such as 888.com.

4) Gambling advertisers such as bocguide.com and casinomeister.com can be forced to remove links to gambling sites (by whom I’m not sure, web hosts, IPSs, the DOJ? – they don’t really say). No penalties were spelled out for non-compliance. It looks like other than difficulties finding a host, advertisers can continue as before, however they too will obviously be effected by the massive loss of market so expect to see more British Pounds on those gambling banners in the near future.

5) The burden of making sure all of this happens falls on the financial industry. They have 270 days in consultation with the Fed and the DOJ to figure out how to do police it and if it's too burdensome, their obligation could be waved. No penalties for non-compliance. I don’t expect them to make a big effort, but they really don’t need to make one. The DOJ can simply flag certain serial offenders such as Neteller and Firepay. I assume they will all comply voluntarily rather than push the envelope. They really have no incentive to go to the mat for offshore casinos.

6) This 270 days does not appear to apply to the legality of taking wagers so, I think within 30 days after Bush signs this thing into law (is that the normal time frame, I’m not sure), 888.com and Party Gaming will be subject to criminal penalties the moment they accept a transfer from a US player directly or indirectly.

In sum, this does look bad. I guess that there will be a flood of casinos now banning US players for fear of prosecution. Sending money to a casino as a US player just got more difficult and US players will now have to gamble at the whole slew of fly-by-night casinos that are sure to pop-up to serve the diehards. It’s back to the bad old days for US players as only seriously shady folks are going to want to take that risk.

Party Gamming, 888 Holdings et al stocks are going to tank and the online gaming industry is going to be a shadow of its former self for many years to come…

But it will rise again I suspect…

I could have misread all this as I'm totally drunk at the moment (its Saturday and life must go on), but it appears this law has some teeth.

Anyone else want to take a crack at it?
 
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Casinomeister

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Rollo said:
4) Gambling advertisers such as bocguide.com and casinomeister.com can be forced to remove links to gambling sites (by whom Im not sure, web hosts, IPSs, the DOJ? they dont really say). No penalties were spelled out for non-compliance. It looks like other than difficulties finding a host, advertisers can continue as before, however they too will obviously be effected by the massive loss of market so expect to see more British Pounds on those gambling banners in the near future.
I could see being asked to remove links on a website served within the US. But if the company is located outside the US, the servers are outside the US, I don't think the US has any jurisdiction over this.
 

just play

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I'm confused.....this already passed? The latest thing I saw posted here (someone posted a link) in another section was that George Bush still had to sign it?


:what:
 

Westland Bowl

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I'm confused.....this already passed? The latest thing I saw posted here (someone posted a link) in another section was that George Bush still had to sign it?


:what:

His signature is largely a given. The only thing we can hope for is for him to strike out the Internet gambling provision before he signs....which isn't likely. But maybe, just maybe, since he can't go for a third term, he'll just do that. I dunno.
 

Westland Bowl

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Ya know....the bill doesn't mention about money ALREADY in Neteller accouints. If you use your own money in Neteller without ever needing to get cash from your bank account, credit card, etc. from now on, then, since Neteller isn't in USA, you'll be transferring money back and forth between casinos, Neteller (Firepay and others), without touching any US bank or other US entity.

So if you continue to make profits with money you transferred from your bank long ago, then you probably do alright since the law covers EFTs from effective date on.
 

aka23

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Ya know....the bill doesn't mention about money ALREADY in Neteller accouints. If you use your own money in Neteller without ever needing to get cash from your bank account, credit card, etc. from now on, then, since Neteller isn't in USA, you'll be transferring money back and forth between casinos, Neteller (Firepay and others), without touching any US bank or other US entity.

So if you continue to make profits with money you transferred from your bank long ago, then you probably do alright since the law covers EFTs from effective date on.
Is it clear that players in the US will be able to cash out money in Neteller accounts after the law goes into effect?
 

sdaddy

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Ya know....the bill doesn't mention about money ALREADY in Neteller accouints. If you use your own money in Neteller without ever needing to get cash from your bank account, credit card, etc. from now on, then, since Neteller isn't in USA, you'll be transferring money back and forth between casinos, Neteller (Firepay and others), without touching any US bank or other US entity.
Exactly. That's going to be my approach from now on. As of now, my Neteller account is funded well enough so that I should not need to make a deposit from my bank account again.

aka23 said:
Is it clear that players in the US will be able to cash out money in Neteller accounts after the law goes into effect?
That's the only remaining question in my mind. It doesn't seem likely that my bank would go so far as to prevent me from depositing a check from my Neteller account. I'd really like to hear others opinion on this, however.
 

Simmo!

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Is it clear that players in the US will be able to cash out money in Neteller accounts after the law goes into effect?


It will be I'm sure. After all, it will take around 270 days before this becomes law so its not like we should all be in a rush to do stuff here.
 

The Watchdog

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I think..

I could see being asked to remove links on a website served within the US. But if the company is located outside the US, the servers are outside the US, I don't think the US has any jurisdiction over this.

If I am not mistaken, this could be avoided by just changing the site to www.casinomeister.gr.co, or www.casinomeister.xxx

(xxx) standing for any extention for a server not located in the US....

You could change your URL to a Costa Rican site... www.casinomeister.co.cr :D

Here, no one will waste time to give you crap for advertising.
 

sneakattack

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Just wanted to make sure of this: we have 9 months before any legal enforcement begins. Thus until june absolutely nothing is happening, except maybe more casinos banning us players. Money currently in neteller or at casinos is at no risk?
 

Casinomeister

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If I am not mistaken, this could be avoided by just changing the site to www.casinomeister.gr.co, or www.casinomeister.xxx

(xxx) standing for any extention for a server not located in the US....

You could change your URL to a Costa Rican site... www.casinomeister.co.cr :D

Here, no one will waste time to give you crap for advertising.

Just because a website has a .com extension, it doesn't necessarily mean it's an American company or is hosted in the states. Look at all of the casino domains. I don't think any of them are hosted in the US.
 

Rollo

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God I have a hangover... praise Jesus for the strong coffee they grow around here.

Anyway, yeah, I agree portals will only have an issue if they host in the US and I don't think this will amount to much anyway other than that many servers won't want to host gambling-related content sites. No penalties, no real means of enforcement - a minor inconvinience a best.

The major incovinience is the rest of it as the text seems to attack the industry on all fronts.

Anyway, I uploaded a copy of the text (see attatchment). The evil act starts on page 213.

Two points I'm still cloudy on:

1) Are players included, or just operators?

2) Is this law universal or does it only compliment state and tribal law?

I'm not smart enough to understand these things, unfortunately.

I think on the 270 day thing, this doesn't mean that you're safe for 270 days with respect to fund transfers. It means that the powers that be have a maxiumum of 270 days to get thier shit together. They could do it much sooner if they were so inclined. Assuming that I'm right about the broad illegality... that would go into effect much sooner, I'd guess 30 days after W signs it.

Yeah, I don't think domain names are in play for anyone other than the gambling entities themselves so casinomeister.com is safe, but partypoker.com may not be as long as it's with a US company like Network Solutions. Anyone know of non-US companies that offer .com extensions?

Here is another analysis from a guy that read the bill 10 times: Old / Expired Link

Rollo
 
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AussieDave

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All jokes a side...

I've got more than a few gambling domains registered with godaddy (a USA based company). Ok maybe I'm getting a little too pedantic, but, hypothetically what's to stop the US gov cracking down on this too?
 

Rollo

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Trezz,

I'd guess there is nothing to worry about there per se unless you run a casino... the law seems to state explicity that interactive computer services, which surely includes ISPs, web hosts, domian hosts, and I believe portals as well are not subject to criminal penalties and there is no action laid out that they have to take either. The worst that could happen is that Godaddy could simply decide gambling sites should take their business elsewhere, though I doubt this will happen as it also says they have no obligation to police for gambling content, but it could.

At any rate, I think now would be a good time for webmasters to start looking for a non-US company to host .com names - if one exists. If not, then this could be problematic.

After the hangover wears off, I'll check at ICANN and see if it's possible for a non-US company to host .com, .net etc...

I dig that crazy cat by the way...
 

RobWin

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"Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006"

This is the title of this new Bill right, but can anyone please tell me who determined that "Internet Gambling was Unlawful" ?

When was this law signed by the President stating that "Internet Gambling has been determined to be Unlawful"

When the hell did this happen ?

NOTE: Please read the above carefully ! :lolup:

P.S. How can you enforce an impose an Act upon an "Unwritten Law" ?
 
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Westland Bowl

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When was this law signed by the President stating that "Internet Gambling has been determined to be Unlawful"

P.S. How can you enforce an impose an Act upon an "Unwritten Law" ?

This is exactly what I wondering about. How in the hell can the US government or anyone for that matter say that online gambling is illegal in US? Huh? What section of law are they going to charge someone under? Even God himself never said gambling is sinful.

It seems the media, government, and naive people keep repeating over and over "Online gambling is illegal" until they convince themselves and everyone else that it is true.

The logic that people get themselves into debt trouble when gambling therefore we should ban it doesn't hold water. In fact, let's ban water because too many people drown in it. Let's ban stairs because too many people hurt themselves fall down them. Let's ban stocks and commodity trading because far too many people lose their money in them compared to gambling.

Frist must be trying to gain favor by the 'powers-that-be' in order to be chosen to be the next president.
 

The Watchdog

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Excellent..

Just because a website has a .com extension, it doesn't necessarily mean it's an American company or is hosted in the states. Look at all of the casino domains. I don't think any of them are hosted in the US.

Excellent..

So your domain is at no risk... I dont know why I had the idea that .com's where domains in US servers, reason why you have extentions like xxx.co.uk...

So keep the banners, keep the forum and hope those morons burn in....
 

Simmo!

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Someone not that long ago pointed out that if Internet Gambling was supposed to be illegal in the USA, why were there TWO Bills (4411 and 4477) to make online gambling illegal currently awaiting legislature. LOL. Damn good point :)
 

RobWin

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This is exactly what I wondering about. How in the hell can the US government or anyone for that matter say that online gambling is illegal in US? Huh? What section of law are they going to charge someone under? Even God himself never said gambling is sinful.

It seems the media, government, and naive people keep repeating over and over "Online gambling is illegal" until they convince themselves and everyone else that it is true.

The logic that people get themselves into debt trouble when gambling therefore we should ban it doesn't hold water. In fact, let's ban water because too many people drown in it. Let's ban stairs because too many people hurt themselves fall down them. Let's ban stocks and commodity trading because far too many people lose their money in them compared to gambling.

Frist must be trying to gain favor by the 'powers-that-be' in order to be chosen to be the next president.


Totally agree Westland Bowl ! :mad:
 

RobWin

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"Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006"

This is the title of this new Bill right, but can anyone please tell me who determined that "Internet Gambling was Unlawful" ?

When was this law signed by the President stating that "Internet Gambling has been determined to be Unlawful"


P.S. How can you enforce an impose an Act upon an "Unwritten Law" ?



Damn good point Robwin.....This is basically similar as to how the IRS ( Internal Revenue Service) got started if I remember my history right :D

:lolup:
 

Rollo

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How can you enforce an impose an Act upon an "Unwritten Law" ?
Well, I really dig your spirit but actually the truth is they do this all the time. Its how the US legal system works. For example, there is no written federal law that states that abortion is legal in the US, only the Roe v Wade opinion.

Anyway, this whole mess will be left to the courts to interpret the intent of the law after the first prosecution is challenged. The DOJ has already stated it's opinion that all forms of online gambling are illegal (save the two exemptions) and this act really strengthens that opinion. Sooner or later, I think the court will have to issue an opinion on the matter. The reason it's been a grey area is that prosecutors haven't really pushed the envelope until now but I expect they will start doing so very shortly.

Becuase we're talking about 5 years in prison, I'm not sure which rich CEO/casino owner is going to want to step up to defend the industry by continuing to accept bets from US players and be the legal guinea pig. They'll go running for cover... that's the problem. There's no hard oposition to this. This crowd of casino millionaries and billionaires has no backbone. They're about the most politically inpet group in any billion dollar industry I have even seen. They couldn't even get together and fund attack ads against vulnerable Republicans in an election year to send a shot across the bow of the GOP for Christ's sake. No major lobbying effort. Nothing. Just look at that total coward Calvin Ayre. For all his bluster, he didn't even have the guts to attend his own Marketing Conference this year. Such balls. These are the guys who could do something, but they won't. There is no self-sacrificing maverick like Larry Flint in this crowd and one is badly needed.

At any rate, it will likely take years for the court to speak so even if this law gets shot down, it's gonna be hell for a few years and that's the best case scenario I'd think.

It all boils down to do prosecutors want to start prosecuting and if so who has the guts to challenge this law and put their big ole flabby asses where their billions are... we'll soon find out.
 
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Macgyver

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Damn good point Robwin.....This is basically similar as to how the IRS ( Internal Revenue Service) got started if I remember my history right :D

:lolup:

Umm, did you just give yourself a pat on the back there or am I seeing things?

If I'm not seeing things, I'd wager that someone's still drunk and not nursing a hangover as said before. :D
 

Mousey

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Hope they give players time to get their money out before they lock out all U.S. players.
 

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