Will the UIGEA decision affect online poker in NZ

Originally Posted on Wednesday Dec 2 9:17:00 GMT 2009

The debate continues regarding the US decision to delay the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, UIGEA, until June 2010.

There is some question as to whether poker is actually a gambling game at all.  No doubt a an debate that will continue for some time.

The UIGEA, passed originally in the Bush administration in 2007, greatly hurt the live poker game as well as the online poker industry.

In 2007 the World Series of Poker Main Event attracted $82.5 million in prize money.  The following year it was down to $60 million.  This was the first decrease in WSOP history.

The decrease was not only seen in the big brand names and casinos, but also with the small operators.  Many people who work in the industry are saying that the proposed ban on internet gambling has cut their income to such an extent that they are forced to look for work elsewhere.

So it would seem that the ban on internet gambling would hurt one of America’s oldest pastimes, thus cutting perfectly legitimate jobs.  This, of course, would have profound implications  worldwide, including here in New Zealand.


Happily, the New Zealand government has not proposed any legislation regarding online gambling.  It is to be hoped that if the US government were to make a decision in 6 months time regarding online gambling, that it would not have too much impact on the online gambling industry in New Zealand.

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