UIGEA Regulation Hearing Finally Set After Months of Rumors

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The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was created and has many holes in its armor. Proposals have been on the table about regulations for the UIGEA.

Up until now, it had been rumored that those proposals would be taken seriously. With no hearings scheduled, people were left to wonder if the regulations would ever be discussed.

Now, those rumors can be put to rest. Representative Luis Gutierrez, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology, has announced that a hearing has been set regarding this issue.

The hearing will most likely include opinions they have gathered from various groups regarding the proposed regulations. Those include religious groups, banks, and citizens.

It is just speculation as to what exactly will be discussed at the meeting, because nobody was available to comment on precisely what would be discussed.

Just the fact that the hearing is now scheduled is a step in the right direction. For months, rumors have been swirling regarding possible regulations, but there has been no substance to those rumors. That has changed now that the hearing has been set.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 is the date of the hearing. The time will be 10:00 A.M.. Check back with CGW as we will have in depth coverage of this important issue as it relates to online gambling.

Slots Gambling Referendum Gaining Critical Support in Maryland

 

Maryland always had Pimlico Race Course. The legendary race track has drawn people from all over the world. Recently, however, it has gotten more difficult to draw patrons with the addition of live slots in surrounding states.

Governor Martin O’Malley saw the need to follow in those states’ footsteps and add slots to the draw in Maryland. The plan is now up in a referendum that would bring over 9,000 slots to the state.

Recently, the referendum gained the support of the Maryland Teachers Union, who voted in favor of backing the referendum. That was a much needed group to join the growing list of supporters for the slot legalization.

Now, county leaders are also lining up behind the referendum. The Maryland Association of Counties has come out and said, they too, will support the referendum.

“Local governments have a direct interest in the passage of the slots referendum this year,” said Jim Smith, a Baltimore County Executive.

Money will not be the only thing generated if the referendum is passed. It is expected that over 9,000 new jobs will be created in the horse racing industry. That means the economy in the state will naturally take a turn for the better.

U.S. Banks Still Not Instructed How To Handle UIGEA

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Back in 2006, President Bush decided it was a good idea to sign into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. What was intended to ban online gambling, has turned into a complete mess for banks, much like many other of Bush’s decisions.

The UIGEA was put into place by the United States government to stop Internet gambling. So far, a year and a half later, the online gambling market is still flourishing, and banks are having a difficult time trying to figure out the law.

“We believe the UIGEA will in the end catch more banks in a compliance trap and do greater damage to the competitiveness of the American payments systems, than it will stop gambling enterprises from profiting on illegal wagering,” said ABA Senior Federal Council Nedda Freese, along with Director of the ABA Center for Regulatory Compliance, Richard R. Riese.

What the UIGEA has done is put the burden of making sure financial institutions on the banks themselves. While it may be the responsibility of the government to make sure the law is being followed, they have decided it is better to put that responsibility on the banks themselves.

In the end, what will most surely happen, is that banks will begin getting into legal trouble for not knowing how to police themselves. Many banks feel slighted by the Bill, claiming they do not have the resources to do the police work.

“In other words, in the view of the drafters of this legislation, all the sophistication of the FBI, Secret Service, and other police computerized detection systems and investigative expertise devoted to fighting terrorism and financial crime, are inadequate to the task of apprehending the unlawful gambling business or confiscating its revenue,” says the ABA.

The ABA goes even further to prove the point that banks should not be responsible for their own policing by saying, “…punting this obligation to the participants in the U.S. payment system is an unprecedented delegation of government responsibility with no prospect of practical success in exchange for all the burden it imposes.”

The vagueness of the law is the problem not only for banks, but for the government themselves. With no guidelines to follow, it will be nearly impossible to achieve the goal that the Bill was set out to achieve.

Once again, President Bush has put his signature on something that will lead to failure for Americans. More thought was needed to determine that regulation would have been the proper avenue to combat illegal online gambling activity.

Now, whoever succeeds Bush will have one more mess that will have to be cleaned up. More legislation that will have to be defined, and in the meantime, illegal gambling online will continue to grow and thrive.