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UIGEA Compliance Date Extended to June 2010

27th November 2009 6:50 pm GMT

The U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Reserve have issued an extension to the compliance date for financial institutions to implement the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, postponing it by six months to June 1st 2010.

The federal agencies said they had received letters in support of a petition to extend the compliance date from regulated financial institutions such as Wells Fargo, The American Bankers Association and members of Congress including Rep. Barney Frank.

The agencies said that financial institutions supporting the petition had cited the lack of a clear definition for the term 'unlawful internet gambling' as a reason for extending the compliance date. Members of Congress supported that reasoning but went further, stating that "there is considerable interest in Congress in clarifying the laws underlying Internet gambling," and that "it would be prudent to defer the compliance date until Congress has had time to act".

While this may be seen as a sign of a growing desire to effectively regulate the U.S. online gaming market, it should be noted that the agencies also received letters opposing any extension to the compliance date. They citied amongst other things "the speculative nature of the problems raised by petitioners" and came exclusively from members of Congress.

The Treasury and Federal Reserve said however that they acknowledge some of the challenges regulated entities are experiencing with the Act's definition of 'unlawful Internet gambling' as well as the interest from Congress in revising the Act.

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