• Congress Moves to Suspend Internet Gambling Ban!

    11 April 2008

    It is about time for some good news for a change!! And the ones that have been fighting for this since it was passed in 2006, the UIGEA Bill, maybe finally winning the battle!! After the hearing last week with the U.S. Treasury, they found out just how hard it would be to get this bill enforced.

    Now finally we get this fresh off the press, and this is going to make a lot of people very happy. I know it puts a smile on my face!!!

    Current law unduly burdens U.S. financial services institutions

        WASHINGTON, April 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Safe and Secure
    Internet Gambling Initiative (SSIGI) announced its support for new
    legislation, H.R.5767, that would prohibit the Department of the Treasury
    and Federal Reserve System from proposing, prescribing or implementing any
    regulations related to the current ban on Internet gambling, as required by
    the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). The bill
    was introduced yesterday by Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul
    (R-Texas).

     “The Frank-Paul bill would stop the U.S. government from taking any
    further steps on regulations that would require all of the country’s
    financial institutions to block Internet Gambling payments,” said SSIGI
    spokesman Jeff Sandman. “It’s a bold move, but a necessary one, in light of
    the warnings from the Treasury and Federal Reserve that they did not know
    how to write regulations to solve the problems created by UIGEA. Further,
    witnesses representing a broad spectrum of the financial services community
    unanimously stated that the current ban on Internet gambling is dangerous
    to the payments system and ineffective in stopping people from using the
    Internet to play poker, make bets on horses, or engage in other types of
    wagering.”

       The current Internet gambling ban creates significant additional
    burdens for U.S. financial institutions, which say that it is unfair to
    turn them into the Internet gambling police at a time when their undivided
    attention ought to be on the economy.

     Testimony before Congress last week offered proof that financial
    services institutions would face serious regulatory burdens in attempting
    to enforce UIGEA and related regulations, which is unlikely to stop
    millions of Americans from gambling online.

      Representatives from the Credit Union National Association, Financial
    Services Roundtable, American Bankers Association and Wells Fargo & Co.
    testified about the burden they would unnecessarily face before the House
    Committee on Financial Service’s Subcommittee on Domestic and International
    Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology on April 2. The current UIGEA law is
    ambiguous and allows for multiple interpretations of what may or may not be
    illegal activities.

     Their comments reflect the concerns echoed in the more than 200
    comments submitted to the Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve
    System.

     Frank introduced legislation last year, the Internet Gambling
    Regulation and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2046), that would regulate Internet
    gambling. The bill would require licensed Internet gambling operators to
    put in place safeguards to protect against underage and compulsive gambling
    and ensure the integrity of financial transactions.

    A companion piece of legislation to the Frank bill introduced by Rep.
    Jim McDermott (D-WA), the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement
    Act of 2008 (H.R. 5523), would ensure the collection of taxes on regulated
    Internet gambling activities. According to a tax revenue analysis prepared
    by PricewaterhouseCoopers, taxation of regulated Internet gambling is
    expected to generate between $8.7 billion to $42.8 billion in federal
    revenues over its first 10 years.

      About Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative

        The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative promotes the freedom
    of individuals to gamble online with the proper safeguards to protect
    consumers and ensure the integrity of financial transactions. For more
    information on the Initiative, please visit http://www.safeandsecureig.org. The
    Web site provides a means by which individuals can register support for
    regulated Internet gambling with their elected representatives.