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US backflips on web gambling

Posted by magyck0ne on December 30, 2011 – 10:20 pm

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SHARES in online gambling companies soared yesterday after news that the US’s draconian internet poker laws are to be relaxed.

Party Poker owner Bwin.PartyGaming, up 30 per cent to 239.87 Australian cents, and 888 Holdings, which rose 9 per cent to 60.09 cents, are expected to be the big winners from a Department of Justice (DoJ) opinion that online gambling should be allowed for non-sports bets. This was announced late on Friday and could be followed by federal legislation.

The Gibraltar-based companies were hit by a US clampdown on online gambling under the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, with PartyGaming accepting a US$105m fine to avoid prosecution for its nine years of stateside operation. The move also led to a number of plea bargains and prosecutions of online gambling executives.

However, it was always unclear whether the legislation and the earlier Wire Act applied to internet gambling outside of sport.

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