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UIGEA relief may see committee vote today
WASHINGTON (7/27/10)—The House Financial Services Committee later today will discuss H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, during a markup session. Legislation to address medical debt, shareholder protections, housing, and bonds will also be discussed during the markup session, which will begin at 10 A.M. E.T. H.R. 2267, which would allow the U.S. Treasury to license internet gambling operators, permitting those operators to accept bets from U.S. citizens, was addressed during a public committee hearing last week. During that hearing, Discovery FCU President/CEO Ed Williams, appearing on behalf of the Credit Union National Association, urged legislators to strengthen the safe harbor rules contained in the current legislation, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Williams also spoke in support of the more recently proposed legislation, as H.R. 2267 would eliminate some of the compliance-related uncertainty that credit unions currently face under UIGEA. UIGEA regulations currently require credit unions and other financial institutions 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. The new legislation, which was proposed by committee head Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), would create new rules for online gambling operators. One way that the legislation, if passed, would aid credit unions is by creating a list of approved gambling operators. This would ease the compliance burden placed on credit unions and other financial institutions and prevent financial institutions from having to do their own investigative work. Williams last week indicated that while the number of transactions that his credit union blocks due to UIGEA rules is "no more than a handful per month," the transaction blocking process does create a number of false positives that "should not have been blocked."


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