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partygaming.jpgAfter the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was signed into law in 2006 Party Gaming left the US market, knowing that to stay would risk incurring the wrath of the US Department of Justice Party Gaming has been negotiating with the DOJ as they are unsure whether they would face retroactive penalties and would like to make sure that does not happen. It is now expected that the two sides will settle sometime this year.

Some online gaming companies have remained in the US market, but they are private companies whereas Party Gaming is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange and therefore have shareholders who must be answered to. Party Gaming would have faced the wrath of their own shareholders if the DOJ imposed financial penalties upon Party Gaming which the company could have avoided by leaving the US market. To avoid such action Party Gaming had no choice but to leave.

Mitch Garber, CEO of Party Gaming, spoke with Forbes, where he said, “These discussions are progressing constructively and I remain confident that we will reach a resolution in 2008. It’s very hard to predict. There;s some fluidity to it. We’re in the midst of a process and our attorneys tell us it is moving in the right direction and at the right speed.”

Party Gaming will have successfully extricated themselves from the messy legal situation online gaming finds itself in in the US once they reach a settlement with the US. However, the UIGEA has been facing increasing criticism as an unworkable and wasteful piece of legislation, leaving the possibility that the UIGEA will be repealed, letting all the companies that left the US back into the market.

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