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U.S Lawmakers Urge Delay in UIGEA Implementation

5th October 2009 8:40 am GMT

With implementation of regulations pursuant to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act set to go into effect in just under two months, several members of the U.S Financial Services Committee including Congressman Barney Frank sent a letter Friday urging Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to extend the date of compliance by one year until December 1st 2010.

In the letter, members of the Financial Services Committee urge Geithner and Bernanke to use their authority under the Administrative Procedure Act to delay the date of compliance for the final regulations implementing the UIGEA, which is set for December 1st 2009, referring to the "unreasonable burden on regulators and the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis."

The letter states that the regulations implementing the UIGEA "contradicts the stated intent of the Financial Services Committee", and refers to the Congressional hearing back in April of this year, during which testimony from regulators and the industry said that it would be "particularly difficult to craft workable regulations to effectively enforce the statute without having a substantial effect on the payments system."

Congressman Frank subsequently introduced legislation co-sponsored by Congressman King, the Payment System Protection Act, H.R 6870, which would prohibit the implementation of the "flawed rules" and replace them with a formal rulemaking process that would define the term "unlawful internet gambling".

H.R 6870 was passed by the Financial Services Committee by a vote of 30-19 in September, however Congress was adjourned before the bill could be considered by the full House.

Congressman Frank has also introduced H.R 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act of 2009, that would establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework under which Internet gambling operators could obtain licenses authorising them to accept wagers from individuals in the United States.

Along with Financial Services Committee's Chairman Barney Frank, the letter was also signed by Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Peter King, Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Luis V Gutierrez, Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Melvin Watt, Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee Ranking Member Ron Paul, and Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Judy Biggert, along with 13 other members of the Financial Services Committee.

There is currently legislation pending, H.R 2266, the Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act, which would move the compliance date of the UIGEA back one year to December 1st 2010.

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