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News Now

Washington
New Internet gambling definition bill up for vote
WASHINGTON (9/15/08)--Among five bills scheduled for a vote tomorrow by the House Financial Services Committee is a new version of the Payment Systems Protection Act introduced Sept. 11 by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). As was its predecessor, that bill is intended to respond to the concerns of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and many others in the financial services industry that the aspects of a current plan to implement the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) would be difficult, if not impossible, to implement. Under the Internet gambling law, financial institutions must establish and implement policies and procedures to identify and block restricted Internet gambling transactions, or rely on those established by the payments system. Frank’s bill would direct the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve System, in consultation with the U.S. Attorney General, to give format guidance on defining what online gambling transactions. The earlier version of Frank’s bill failed in committee by a tie vote this summer. CUNA continues to support the Frank bill and will send a letter expressing that support. CUNA also reiterates its fundamental concern that UIGEA adds to credit unions’ already extraordinary burden with heavy policing responsibilities under the Bank Secrecy Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) rules. CUNA warned an increased policing role could interfere with financial institutions' fundamental business to provide financial services to their communities. The remaining bills scheduled for a committee vote Tuesday are:
* A recently introduced H.R. 6871, Expedited Funds Availability Dollar Limits Adjustment Act; * H.R. 6694, FHA Seller-Financed Downpayment Reform and Risk-Based Pricing Authorization Act; * H.R. 3019, Expand and Preserve Home Ownership Through Counseling Act; and * H.R. 6642, National Consumer Cooperative Bank Act Amendments.


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