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Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.


The most dramatic change in online poker history was without comparison when a consolidated Bill, referred to as Leach/Goodlatte Bill, was tacked onto the SAFE Port Act, which was passed in the American senate on the 29th of September 2006 and signed into effect by George Bush the 13th of October same year. 

It is referred to as the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act" (UIGEA).

The main purpose of the bill was to secure American shores against global terrorism. What many politicians did not notice was that there was a note on the back of the bill criminalizing the processing of gaming transactions in the U.S. The politicians proposing the bill were clever enough not to try to label poker as an illegal game but instead made the transactions illegal while trying to link them to global terror.

All online gaming operators were licensed outside USA meaning they did not pay US state or federal taxes. Billions of dollars went untaxed and unregulated by the Federal Government which surely annoyed a lot of politicians. 

All public traded gaming companies pulled out of the US due to the UIGEA. They had no choice since they needed to protect shareholders from the legal implications of accepting US players to deposit. For the same reason a number of privately owned European faced networks pulled out too.
  Stopped accepting US players Continued to accept US players
  Party Gaming PokerStars
  Playech Full Tilt Poker
  888.com Absolute Poker
  Boss Media Microgaming
  Cryptologic Cake Network
  Entraction Bodog
  Ongame Merge Gaming
  Action Poker Everleaf