Online Gambling Alive and Well in the States
By Jon Young
The UIGEA law prohibiting US financial institutions from processing payments to online gambling sites hasn't stopped US employees from visiting sportsbetting sites, according to cybersecurity vendor Scansafe Ltd.

Attempted visits to online gambling websites by employees of Scansafe's US customers were up 77 percent in the week between January 23 and 31.

Scansafe provides a Web-blocking service to large businesses, examining 6 billion Web requests a month.

In October, President George Bush signed into law a measure prohibiting financial institutions from processing payments to gambling sites. The US government has until mid-July to develop the processing regulations for financial institutions.

But some online gambling sites have begun telling US customers that financial institutions are already distancing themselves. On Wednesday, reportedly advised US customers to cash out.

'The remaining companies that process cashouts from to our players in the United States have contacted us to say that in the near future they will no longer facilitate these transactions,' said a message on PokerRoom's home page. 'As such, we would advise all American players that have not cashed out already, to do so immediately.'

The gambling provision, amended by Congress onto a safe ports security bill in late September, has had no impact on the number of people visiting gambling Web sites, said Dan Nadir, vice president for product strategy at Scansafe. Scansafe doesn't track whether those people completed bets, he said.

'We suspected (the law) wouldn't have much of an impact,' he said. “Some gambling sites will simply develop alternative payment mechanisms.”

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