U.S. Regulators Issue Internet Gambling Rule

    November 13, 2008

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have issued the final rule to implement the controversial Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

The Act prohibits gambling businesses from accepting payments from unlawful Internet gambling sites, including payments made with credit cards, electronic funds transfers, and checks.

U.S. Regulators Issue Internet Gambling Rule

"The final rule requires U.S. financial firms that participate in designated payment systems to establish and implement policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to prevent payments to gambling businesses in connection with unlawful Internet gambling" the Treasury Department said in a statement.

"For purposes of the rule, unlawful Internet gambling generally would cover the making of a bet or wager that involves use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any applicable federal or state law in the jurisdiction where the bet or wager is initiated, received, or otherwise made," the Treasury said.

Businesses have until December 1, 2009 to comply with the new rule, the Treasury said.

The Poker Players Alliance, a poker grassroots advocacy group condemned the move by the government. "Today’s action finalizes a truly bad public policy-one that even the banks and Federal regulators called unworkable in Congressional testimony," said PPA Chairman and former Senator Alfonse D’Amato.

"However, the PPA remains optimistic that the new Administration and the new Congress will recognize the failings of UIGEA and will act swiftly in the New Year to overturn this flawed policy."

A flaw in the regulations to enforce UIGEA is that they leave banks to interpret state and Federal gambling laws, which do not make clear the difference between legal and illegal Internet gambling activities.