LONDON, UK – GameAccount (www.gameaccount.com), the world's largest provider of person-to-person (P2P) skill games, and winner of the 2006 eGaming Review Award for Innovation, confirms that it has complied with both the letter and spirit of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act 2006 (UIGEA) signed into law on 13 October 2006.
The UIGEA specifically legislates for "games, subject to chance" and makes no attempt to carve-out or exclude skill-based contests or skill-based competition gaming, unlike the specific and detailed carve-out provided for Fantasy Sports.
GameAccount is a widely respected leader in skill-based gaming and is confident that in taking this difficult decision, after careful consideration and advice from in-house and external legal counsel, they are protecting the interests of licensee sportsbook partners, shareholders and directors from the very real threat of prosecution or detention under the UIGEA.Kevin Dale, CEO of GameAccount commented, "Skill-based online gaming is and will remain a grey area under the UIGEA until tested under federal US law. It is extremely hard to argue that games of skill, such as those provided by leading skill games operators, have zero element of chance influencing the outcome of real money tournaments. Closing access to US-resident real money players was a hard decision, but a sensible one." Of the major skill-based gaming destination site operators, including King.com (formerly Midasplayer.com) and FUN Technologies Plc (operator of WorldWinner.com and Skilljam.com), GameAccount is the first to implement responsible measures against US resident players competing in skill-based competition tournaments. In common with other skill games companies GameAccount had developed partnerships with US facing firms which are being terminated. In the course of the next few months US financial services institutions and online payment processors must comply with the terms of the UIGEA. This may include e-wallets such as PayPal and Netteller, which currently facilitate a significant proportion of cash deposits and withdrawals by US-resident skill-gamers. Kevin Dale, stated, "To some extent the decision has been made for us as the source of fund transfers from the US dries up. But there's also a very fine line between games such as Gin Rummy, Bejeweled and Poker – and it's an orange suit and manacles that you can look forward to if you decide to test the DOJ's interpretation of skill vs chance gaming."