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Washington
Four Hill UIGEA proponents question implementation
WASHINGTON (7/30/08)—Four House members who were proponents of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act as it made its way into public law have sent a joint letter to the Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Board chairman questioning implementation. The U.S. Treasury Department and Fed are charged with implementing the provisions of UIGEA. Recently, the House Financial Services Committee narrowly voted down the Payment System Protection Act (H.R. 5767), which would have forced the agencies to set aside their current proposal to implement the Internet gambling prohibitions. Under the law, financial institutions must establish and implement policies and procedures to identify and block restricted transactions, or rely on those established by the payments system. Opponents of the proposed rules, including the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), argue that they lack clarity and sufficient definition of terms, and that they would represent an impossible compliance burden for credit unions and other financial institutions. The lawmakers’ letter raised some of the same concerns. “As proposed, those regulations do not provide clear guidance to the public, in particular those that engage in online skill games, or regulated industries regarding what constitutes unlawful internet gambling,’” said the letter signed by Reps. Judy Biggert ( R-Ill.), Christopher Shays (R-Conn. ), Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.), and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). All signers are members of the House Financial Services Committee. The lawmakers reiterated that they voted for UIGEA and “support it now.” “However,” they wrote, “we are concerned about the legal and operational viability of a rule that leaves so much to interpretation and, accordingly, urge the Board and Treasury to take a more deliberative path to a workable rule…”


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