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Online Casino News - March, 2008

American Banking Association Criticizes Online Gambling Ban



 Seed Newsvine

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

March 10, 2008

Passing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was one thing. Enforcing it?...Well, that's another beast altogether. And nobody knows this better than the American Banking Association (ABA), whose members have been charged with the task of enforcing undefined financial roadblocks between U.S. citizens and online casinos.

Further discrediting the UIGEA and its unsound protocols, ABA's December report to the U.S Treasury (recently reviewed by online poker information portal, Poker News) is littered with criticisms and doubt about the effectiveness of the attempted online gambling ban. To get a sense of just how important this report is, ABA is composed of banks and financial institutions representing $12.7 trillion (95%) of the U.S. banking industry.

Not only did the report criticize the current protocols of the bill, it expressed sincere doubt that anything practical can be done to implement the unrealistic provisions of the bill. Furthermore, ABA rightfully cited their discontent with the unjust hardship of placing an "unfunded mandate" on the banking institution.

With all the sophistication of the FBI, Secret Service and homeland security divisions, not to mention the fact that the UIGEA was passed under a Port Security Bill designed to fight terrorism, to place such undefined responsibilities on payment processors is patently absurd.

While there was much to mull over in this report, the top three flaws cited by ABA were such:

One - the definition of unlawful internet gambling activity is so vague that it leaves standards of compliance virtually impossible to enforce. Remember all those carve outs for internet horserace betting?

Two - The means in which to identify cross-border online gambling activities, as well as intercepting transactions has not been solved.

Three - the uncertainty of standards used to block financial transactions, which is even more impossible to gauge when dealing with offshore banking institutions whose online gambling laws are different than that of the U.S.



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