Online Gambling Legislation Opposed by Independent Community Bankers of America

31 August 2006

BankNet 360
Posted By: Vince Ryan
Aug 30 2006 06:00:10 PDT

ICBA Opposes Bill to Stop Illegal Online Gambling

Congressional legislation that would attempt to block electronic transfers between U.S. gamblers and offshore casinos is being opposed by the Independent Community Bankers of America, according to The Wall Street Journal. The ICBA is asking the Senate to revise a House version of the bill that passed n July.

The advocacy group, which represents 5,000 community banks, says it would be difficult, if not impossible, for banks to police electronic payments from gamblers to casions, in part because the transfers are not coded to show what type of business is on the receiving end.

The banks also do not have the capability to stop gamblers from using physical checks to move money into gambiling accounts, but the proposed law might require them to do so.

Although the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act would require greater regulation of banks, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department would devise a way to make complying with the law not overly burdensome, said Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa).

However, according to a former U.S. assistant attorney in New York, in addition to overhauling their systems, banks would need a constantly updated lists of names of online casino operations in order to comply with the law, similar to what is used to monitor payments to terrorist organizations and drug dealers.

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