The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in America in 2006 and 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.” The shock decision to pass this legislation had a ripple effect across America and many of the largest online establishments either closed their doors or shifted their operations to other areas of the world.
However there has been a large shift in online casino activity, namely the introduction and massive growth of mobile casinos that have been created to be compatible for a range of devices and operating systems. The explosion of Apple products into the market has created a demand for games that cater to the iOS and top sites like http://www.iPadcasino.com.au/ have become increasingly popular with users. Blackberry, Nokia and Android device users have also been targeted and a host of mobile sites are available at the touch of a button.
UIGEA dictates that placing bets through a mobile phone is illegal in the USA however it does not specifically decree that mobile gaming is unlawful and the actual context remains a grey area, although the expectation remains the same. Although the placing of bets is illegal, there has been much done to promote mobile gambling in the US and the market for free games and apps continues to grow on a rapid basis.
The UIGEA act specifically excludes fantasy sports meeting certain requirements and does not mention State lotteries or clarify whether inter-state horse racing is illegal, meaning that players can make use of the facilities without contravening the act in its entirety.
According to the legislation the act also excludes legal intra-state and inter-tribal gaming and in reservations across the USA gambling is an allowed activity. Social gaming has also become a continued source of revenue with Rock You, Zynga and Big Fish being major contenders in Facebook and other social media platforms.
There is expectation that UIGEA will be amended in the near future to allow regulated poker and other gambling activities in both the internet and mobile sphere and a number of companies continue to jockey for position in anticipation of a more relaxed mobile and online gaming legislation.