US banks attack US gambling law

US banks have warned the US Treasury the regulations put in place by last year’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) will be nigh on impossible to enforce until the government clarifies its inconsistent views on online gambling.

The Financial Services Roundtable, which represents a number of banks and other financial institutions, said it was “very concerned” that if banks completely adhered to the rules they would be subject to “significant” costs.

The Roundtable is also concerned that they will be responsible for something that is not within their scope of responsibility.

"The statute and the proposed rule expand the role of financial institutions to police laws that are more appropriate for law enforcement agencies," the Roundtable said in public filings to the Treasury and Federal Reserve.

Presently, US banks must have procedures in place that are “reasonably designed” to prevent illegal gambling businesses processing payments. Even the term “reasonably designed” is vague at best.

Not only that, under the current ‘rules’ , US banks are not sure whether banks should block payments from US-based gambling sites that take bets on horses (which is currently allowed in the legislation).

Even the Bank of America has raised concerns about the ambiguity of the situation.

"Without a definition, financial institutions will be forced to block legitimate transactions in order to avoid the possibility of permitting an illegal transaction," it said.

Editor, - 2007-12-19 11:17:38

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