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PartyGaming Settlement a Calculated Gamble?

June 3, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — Writing in the Poker Player online newspaper, author I. Nelson Rose offers a very well thought-out recap of the whole PartyGaming / U.S. Department of Justice prosecution and settlement affair, tracing the path from the company’s entry into the U.S. market all the way to its recent $105 million settlement with American authorities.

That $105 million settlement was almost certainly a move to better PartyGaming's position in the U.S. market when the UIGEA is overturned, as opposed to being payment for a legitimate crime, writes Rose. That makes since, since the case against PartyGaming was never particularly strong. The UIGEA laws are vaguely defined, and PartyGaming was being penalized for actions that took place before the bill was even written. In addition, only a few other companies were being prosecuted under the law. All these factors would have made a successful prosecution of the company difficult. 

However, even an unsuccessful prosecution may have dragged on for years, and the company was eager to remove the stigma altogether. So, it effectively paid the U.S. government $105 million for a clean slate — particularly helpful in the event that the UIGEA was overturned and the chance to re-enter the U.S. market presented itself once more (which is looking more and more likely). In that sense, PartyGaming took a calculated risk that will probably pay off for the company when it can once more resume operations in the U.S.

The entire article is interesting reading, providing a new angle on the whole affair. And the writer has an interesting take on why the international iGaming community, and not just Americans, should be working to help oppose the UIGEA. When Republican leaders rammed the bill into law in 2006, writes Rose, the “UIGEA acted like a terrorist attack on the London Stock Market, wiping out $8 billion in equity of the online gaming operators in one day.”

Harsh rhetoric, or right on the money? Click here to read the article at and decide for yourself.