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UIGEA Effects

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in the last session of Congress on September 30th and immediately wiped billions of pounds off the share value of publicly listed companies like PartyGaming, who relied heavily on the US market for a big portion of their income.

When, two weeks later, George Bush signed the bill into law, PartyGaming, SportingBet and many other online gaming companies were forced by stock market rules to drop their American customers and the results were severe.

Below are figures that show the effect the UIGEA had on the world’s biggest online poker sites, by comparing player numbers for before and after the bill became law.

Early Effects of UIGEA on Selected Sites (Average real money ring game player counts, Sept. 1 - Nov. 5)

This first graph shows active real money players over a two month period ending on the 5th of November. Notice the dramatic change in fortunes for PartyPoker and PokerStars, who swapped positions at the top of the tree after the UIGEA was signed into law.

Average player counts before and after UIGEA.

This graph compares real money players and tables on PartyPoker for the 17th September (before the UIGEA) and the 17th October (after the UIGA). Apart from the dramatic downturn in player numbers notice how the peak player traffic has shifted from American time to European time.

Daily cycle, Americans VS European sites.

This graph shows the new hierarchy in the aftermath of the UIGEA. PokerStars is clearly the big dog now, hitting well over 10,000 in peak times, while Full Tilt is now level with PartyPoker as the second biggest online poker room, hitting over 6000 players at its peak time (04:19), the same as PartyPoker whose peak time is at around 22:00.


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