April 6, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — The tone may be humorous, but the subject matter is serious. The Hawaii Reporter online magazine’s Eli Lehrer took a swipe at the UIGEA (as well as some other silly legislation) in his second installment of “The Five Dumbest Product Bans, 2009: An Annual Review of Regulatory Absurdity”.
With the mantra “what the free market gives, government often takes away,” Lehrer lays into a number of anti-progressive American laws that exist seemingly only to restrict the freedom of U.S. citizens.
His take on the UIGEA is refreshing and factual, underlining the harmful economic effects of the ban. Stating that the law " … places absurd restrictions on banks in an attempt to outlaw Internet gambling,” Lehrer calls out the Bush administration for ramming the law into effect in the last days of its administration.
“The absurdity of trying to curb gambling aside,” Lehrer goes on, “UIGEA will adversely affect activities which do not constitute gambling at all, imposing tremendous costs on the rest of the economy. The regulations will impose a sizeable burden on the already struggling banking sector. The cost, the Treasury, Office of Management and Budget, and Federal Reserve agree—will come in upwards of $100 million a year.”
Any time a voice from outside the iGaming industry takes a shot at the UIGEA, it’s a good thing. And that’s especially valid considering that two of the laws on last year’s list have since been overturned.
This marks the second time that the “national online poker ban” has found a home on Lehrer’s top five list, and it finds itself in the company of other hard-to-fathom legislation such as the banning of a new cancer drug and strange laws against, of all things, the licensing of flower arrangement specialists.