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Gambling.co.uk: Gambling News Archive

UIGEA regulations remain on their way

Report in mainstream news magazine Newsweek has come out against next week’s implementation of America’s online gambling ban.

Thursday 26th November 2009



With the implementation of regulations surrounding the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) less than a week away, one of America’s most popular news magazines has come out in opposition to the pending legislation. Despite numerous protests from the financial sector and civil liberties groups, UIGEA will see banks and other financial institutions in the US prohibited from accepting or processing payments to or from online gambling sites as of December 1. In a lengthy piece entitled High Stakes For Online Gamblers published in Newsweek, journalist Jeremy Herb has come out in opposition to the 2006 legislation by citing the legislation’s vagueness and the difficulty in enforcement. “The problem with UIGEA is it raised more questions than it answered,” writes Herb. “The law does not make it illegal for people to gamble online as it focuses on bank transactions. But it failed to define what's considered ‘illegal Internet gambling’. The Treasury and Fed, which are instructing banks on how to enforce the law, did not define illegal gambling either.” Herb goes on to explain some of the background to UIGEA and enlighten readers on the conflict between the industry and the Wire Act, an older law that is often used to prosecute online gambling operators. “The Justice Department believes all Internet gambling is illegal based on the 1960s Wire Act, which was designed to stop bookies from using telephones and passed long before the Internet as we know it existed,” writes Herb. “The gambling industry disputes this, arguing the Wire Act only applies to sportsbetting, not games like poker or roulette. In 2002, the Fifth Circuit Court ruled the Wire Act only applied to sportsbetting but that didn't sway any opinions at Justice. Several offshore executives of online casinos and ‘e-wallet’ payment processors have been arrested in the past few years. In June, the Justice Department froze $33 million in payments to American players from four online casinos.” In wrapping up his piece, Herb gives the industry reason to be optimistic and states that ‘it's unlikely online gambling would disappear completely’ if the regulations surrounding UIGEA are enacted and enforced. “There are ways for American players to circumvent bank regulations including setting up a foreign bank account,” writes Herb.




Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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