Congressman Barney Frank attacks the UIGEA regsApril 13, 2008, 5:20 am (10 years ago)
Due the recent developments and the congressional hearings taken place in Washington on the subject of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, only a few can doubt that governmental agencies and some of the financial services industry required to police it have a monumental task in thinking up practical ways to implement this (UIGEA) flawed law passed by Congress in 2006.
As of this week the task may have been made a little bit harder by new legislation - H.R.5767 - introduced by influential Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank and presidential aspirant Ron Paul.
The released statement from Frank and Paul, HR 5767 introduced this week seeks to prohibit 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."
If approved, the Bill will effectively curtail the further operation of the UIGEA.
Frank's new initiative comes after an intense criticism of the proposed regulations drafted by government agencies to keep hold on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was designed to disrupt financial transactions with online gambling companies but places the burden of enforcement on the U.S. financial services industry.
Both Congressmen claim the UIGEA unduly infringes upon personal freedoms and is not a legal law. "The ban on Internet gambling infringes upon two freedoms that are important to many Americans: the ability to do with their money as they see fit, and the freedom from government interference with the Internet," Representative Paul said.
Critics protest that the UIGEA is not possible to apply due to ambiguities in its language and a serious lack of definition, together with the impracticality of tasking an already stretched financial services industry with its complicated enforcement across a variety of financial and in many cases international instruments.
Congressman Frank highlighted these flaws, saying: "I believe that even those who agree with it ought to be concerned about the regulations' impact," and pointing out that the recent Congressional hearing had showed that "the regulations are unworkable for the financial services industry."
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