It appears that on-line gambling is about to get a lot more difficult to do. President George W. Bush is expected to sign into law, Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
Bush was expected to act quickly after Congress approved the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act making it illegal for financial institutions and credit card companies to process payments to settle Internet bets. It also created stiff penalties for online wagers. (Breitbart)
On-line gambling companies took a beating in the stock markets upon hearing this news.
Optimal Group (OPMR – commentary – Cramer’s Take) plunged 31% after the company said the passage of an Internet gambling law would hurt its business. Shares fell $3.68 to $8.08.
More stock market carnage as “on-line gaming” industries stocks collapse.
At 6.40am EST (11.40am GMT) Monday Sportingbet PLC shares lose little over 57%, trading at 77.75p. Leisure & Gaming PLC shares dropped by 71% trading at 11p. Betcorp PLC trades at 54p, losing 31%.
Meanwhile PartyPoker (PartyGaming, trading at 77.75 down 57.8%) announces it will abandon the U.S. market.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was rammed through Congress by the Republican leadership in the final minutes before the election period recess. According to Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), no one on the Senate-House Conference Committee had even seen the final language of the bill. The Act is title VIII of a completely unrelated bill, the Safe Port Act, HR 4954, dealing with port security. It can be found on pages 213 – 244 of the Conference Report: http://www.saveonlinegaming.com/hr49543.pdf. It is based on the Leach and Goodlatte bills, HR 4411 and HR 4777, but there are some important differences.
UPDATE: Online gambling set for takeover wave
The days of wine and roses may be over for the lucrative on-line gaming industry. According to many, the on-line gaming world will consolidate in the wake of the US crack down on internet gambling.
Internet gambling companies face a wave of consolidation in the wake of the US clampdown on online gaming, which could see American casinos and gambling businesses swooping for bargains in the sector, the heads of two of the biggest online gambling sites said on Monday. (MSNBC)