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UIGEA Affecting Deposits at U.S. Regulated Poker Sites

WSOP.com made its official debut in Nevada yesterday, but the nation’s second legalized online poker site ran into problems with players reporting difficulties depositing by credit card.

While the launch at 9:19 on 9/19 was a cute play on numbers, it left many Nevada residents and tourists wanting to dial 911 when credit card deposits were not being processed. WSOP.com representatives are aware of the problem and have informed players via 2 + 2 that the issues are being worked on.

“Some credit card companies may block gaming transactions,” said the official WSOP.com post at 2 + 2. “Contact your credit card issuer to find out if this charge was blocked intentionally. Let them know that this is something you want and that WSOP.com online poker is fully regulated and legal in the state of Nevada. If the credit card issuer will still not let you make this transaction, you may want to try a different card.”

The problem is that the UIGEA that was enacted by the Bush administration in 2006 was intended to wipe out credit card deposits at online gaming sites. It worked to varying degrees and forced payment processors for PokerStars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker to set up phony website businesses to mask such transactions.

There is no need to hide those transactions anymore with regard to Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com, as those sites are now legal. However, the banks have not yet fallen in line with the newly-regulated online poker industry in Nevada. The result has been a nightmare for players who still must contend with the fallout of the UIGEA.

With New Jersey and Delaware set to join Nevada later this year, it would be nice to get the credit card problem straightened out. The industry as a whole should somehow notify the banks and inform them of the legality of credit card deposits. Much easier said than done, of course, especially when dealing with banks operating on a federal level and the individual states regulating Internet poker and gambling on the state level.

In any event, players at WSOP.com have reported that ACH transfers are being processed without a hitch. There currently is a $500 maximum limit on such deposits daily. WSOP.com representatives are also reportedly working on removing that limitation.

The UIGEA greatly affected the online poker industry and the ramifications may still be felt for some time. Perhaps when more and more states are added to the mix of those offering legalized online poker and gambling, some of the problems associated with financial transactions at gaming sites may eventually lessen.

 

 

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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