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Cheney Gaming legislation reduces CU UIGEA burdens
WASHINGTON (7/28/10)--Proposed online gambling legislation could reduce the burdens that the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has imposed on credit unions, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said in a Tuesday letter to Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, would allow the U.S. Treasury to license internet gambling operators and would permit approved operators to accept bets from U.S. citizens. The legislation was one of several bills that were scheduled to be discussed by the House Financial Services Committee during a Tuesday markup session. However, Frank, who chairs the committee, postponed consideration of some of the bills until today, presumably due to time constraints. Under UIGEA, credit unions and other financial institutions are required to establish and implement policies and procedures to identify and block restricted internet gambling transactions, or rely on those procedures established by the payments system. While CUNA does not take a position on the legality of online gambling, Cheney said in the letter that CUNA supports Frank’s legislation, as it would reduce the unnecessary compliance burden imposed by UIGEA. Cheney also encouraged legislators to direct the Treasury and the Department of Justice to develop and maintain a list of illegal Internet gambling providers, as well as the list of licensed operators, to further reduce the compliance burden on credit unions and other financial institutions. The legislation should also mandate safe harbors for financial institutions that use both the lists of legal Internet gambling providers and illegal Internet gambling providers when determining whether a transaction should be blocked. “Such an approach would promote compliance for institutions by providing them a much greater level of certainty as to whether a transaction for a particular entity should be prevented,” Cheney said. If approved by the committee, the legislation will move on to the full House of Representatives for a vote.


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