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More Distaste for the UIGEA Surfaces

by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor

               Further concerns about the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act have been voiced following the tied vote failure of bill HR5767. HR5767 proposed that the implementation of the UIGEA be halted until more specification was made as to what forms of online casino gambling and sports betting violate the Act. On Monday, four Republican representatives sent out a letter to Federal Reserve Board and U.S. Treasury officers, seeking a more deliberate approach to making regulations for such Act.


                Many criticisms have been made by politicians and the banking industry that the UIGEA is neither practical nor precise in leaving its enforcement to the financial institutions. The Act, which does not criminalize online gambling but rather the financing of such, has been the subject of many complaints made by federal legislators since its passing.

 Representatives Judy Biggert, Christopher Shays, Jim Gerlach and Kevin McCarthy maintain that a more formal definition should be made as to what unlawful internet gambling is. While none of the four support online casino gambling, they are concerned that the “vague language” in the regulatory act will burden the banks in charge of enforcing it.

The letter says, “As proposed, these regulations do not provide clear guidance to the public, in particular those that engage in online skill games or regulated industries regarding what constitutes ‘unlawful internet gambling.’ We believe that implementing such vague law and regulations, while holding the public related industries liable for non-compliance, is an abdication of the federal government’s responsibility to both the public and unregulated industries.”

The letter also suggests that the drafting process should require a more specific project backed by an Administrative Law Judge and that there should be a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis on the financial impact created by the UIGEA’s enforcement.