Congressional Committee Votes For Gambling Clarification

Published on: September 17, 2008 

Another step has been taken in the online gambling issue that should make online players a bit happier than they were before.  Congress passed a bill that will relieve the burden of American financial institutions in regard to the ban on Internet gambling and payments that are made and received by the players.  The Payments System Protection Act (HR 6870) was approved by the House Committee on Financial Services and it directs the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to work in conjunction with the Attorney General to appoint an Administrative Law Judge to define what is considered unlawful online gambling and what is not.  An economic study on compliance costs will be conducted and the bill has now delayed the implementation of regulations for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).  This means the regulations cannot be finalized or put into place until they know what is considered legal online transactions.

An amendment to the bill was also approved that requires federal regulators to issue these regulations to banks and other institutions with 60 days of enactment.  This amendment blocks all Internet gambling wagers for the time being except those placed on horse and dog racing, and jai-lai games.  The Treasury will be required to also produce a list of all unlawful sports operators and websites to the financial institutions for consultation to implement the ban until the economic impact study and definition of legal online transactions is produced.  Both the legislation and the amendment were introduced to Congress by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.).  

According to Jeffrey Sandman, the spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, the vote and passing of the bill is the acknowledgement by legislators that the Internet gambling prohibition has been ‘overly burdensome and unworkable’.  The group is hoping that this is a sign of Congress being willing to develop a more sensible approach to online gambling.  “Rather than prohibit an activity millions of Americans enjoy in the privacy of their homes, just as they can do in a casino, Congress should create a framework to regulate Internet gambling as a way to protect consumers and collect billions in much-needed federal revenue," Sandman says, a sentiment that is felt by many Americans.

Frank introduced the bill as a response to the concerns that were raised by the banks and financial institutions.  The current wording of the UIGEA has basically left them swinging in the breeze with no direction or instruction into what is considered legal and illegal online transactions.  The federal government could not even define that and this inability to distinguish between the two has raised serious issues.  Once online transactions are defined, the banks will then be able to more closely monitor what their customers are doing.

Other Recent News:
News Archives
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Casino Offers