Online Casino Reports — July 20, 2008
UIGEA to go
Recent Congressional hearings in Washington designed to clarify the impact of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA, may actually end up discarding the act altogether. New legislation introduced by Barney Frank, chairman of the influential Financial Services Committee seeks to restrict the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Treasury secretary from "… proposing, prescribing or implementing any regulation that requires the financial services industry to identify and block Internet gambling transactions."
Good news for online gamblers
Barney Frank's initiative follows a series of criticisms leveled at the original act by agencies of the US government who were preparing to shore up and toughen the UIGEA. Frank and his colleague, former presidential hopeful, Ron Paul, highlighted the unworkable nature of regulating online gambling payments due to the complexity and intricacy of the Internet environment. This activity can only mean good news for online gamblers who have for too long been pawns in the battle by congressional do-gooders seeking to limit personal financial liberty.
Congressman Frank is pulling out all the stops in his crusade against the UIGEA by actually proposing that Congress promotes the legal licensing and regulation of online gambling in the United States. This action would raise significant tax revenue as well as control what is essentially the desire of a large proportion of the voting public to spend their personal funds as they see fit. The Frank-Paul bill would effectively stop any further US government action on requiring the country's financial institutions to block online gambling payments.
Saving the Fed's bacon
The new proposals would rescue the Federal Reserve Bank from the tight spot in which it has been confined ever since the UIGEA act was instigated. The central bank simply did not know how to regulate the complex business of online payment systems used by Internet gamblers. Frank's approach takes the bull by the horns and provides a solution for all concerned – the US legislature, the Federal Reserve Bank, and perhaps, most importantly, the army of fans of Internet gambling.