While the enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that the federal government has put forth recently has not been successful in curbing online gambling in the country, it has had the effect of causing some online gambling operators to voluntarily exit the market. One such operator is Microgaming and when they exited the market last week they took all of their online casinos, online poker rooms and other online gambling facilities with them. The end result is that right now people from the United States are not able to play in any of the Microgaming installations of online gambling and even people with active accounts in good standing have been blocked from playing and had their money returned.
For the average online gambler in the United States, the exit of Microgaming from the US market represents a big blow to online gambling in the country. Microgaming is easily the most reputable online gambling company in the world at the current moment in time and because of that there are many people that are predicting that the UIGEA, rather than helping the fight against predatory online gambling institutions, have done nothing but remove the good ones and leave the bad. Microgaming is one of the few online gambling institutions that have never had any complaints against it in terms of fraud or abuse and this is because they have a strict code of conduct that they force all of their member websites to follow. This in turn results in games that are self-regulated in a way that the government should be regulating them right now and for that reason grateful US patrons in the past have rewarded Microgaming by giving them almost the entire market in the United States.
With Microgaming gone however, many of the online gambling websites that offered fair play in the same way that their offline counterparts did have now gone away from the US market, leaving a lot of untested and probably unfair websites in their wake to pick up the slack. With the fair assumption that people that are involved in online gambling now will continue to be involved in online gambling even with the exit of their favorite online casino, the only conclusion that can be reached is that the aftermath of the implementation of the UIGEA by the federal government has been to create a set of conditions in the US market that have resulted in poorer and less fair online gambling operations taking over a larger amount of the market share. Once again it seems as though poor US policy has made things worse with no chance at all of making them better.
There are online gambling advocacy groups however that have stepped forward and are now interested in making up for the slack left by Microgaming. These groups have put forward a number of online gambling institutions that are reasonably reputable and fair and still operate inside the United States. They won’t replace Microgaming, but they will at least allow US patrons to avoid potential problem spots online.