Nearly £3 billion was knocked off the shares of several high profile U.K. Internet gambling companies today following this weekend's passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in both houses of Congress in the U.S. The bill is awaiting the signature of President George W. Bush before it can be passed into law.
The bill effectively prohibits U.S. financial institutions from processing transactions made by U.S. customers to offshore online gambling companies.
PartyGaming, Plc., owner of PartyPoker.com, saw a drop of 57%, wiping more than £2.3 billion off the value of its shares, following its announcement that it would prohibit all U.S. gamers from placing real money wagers if President Bush approves the new law.
888 Holdings, Plc. lost roughly £90 million off its shares, a 45% drop, after it said it would cut off U.S. customers following Bush's ratification of the law, while Sportingbet, Plc.'s shares fell 70%, a £457.3 million loss, after saying the same thing.
U.S. Congress passes anti-Internet gambling legislation
PartyGaming, Plc. to Cut Off U.S. Gamblers if Bush Signs Bill
888 Holdings, Plc. Announces Intention to Ban U.S. Gamblers
Sportingbet, Plc. Releases Statement About UIGEA