This has been a bad month for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Following some sharp criticism from the American Banking Association earlier in the month, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has stepped up to denounce the UIGEA with a report of their own, citing several inadequacies and impending dangers of the bill.
Authored by the Competitive Institute's Senior Fellow, Eli Lehrer, the report emphasized dangerous unintended consequences of the bill, including the likelihood of putting a kink in America's smooth banking system - the same sentiment of the American Banking Association.
By burdening financial institutions with the responsibility of accurately identifying online gambling activities and cutting business off with an entity that may be engaging with an online casino operator, the report essentially says that a holistic chain of negative repercussions will invariably follow.
There is a large possibility that the UIGEA that will cause damaging consequences to more than than just the online casinos (many of which are still accepting U.S. players). Not only does the UIGEA jeopardize the financial security and privacy of all American citizens, it offers no sound solutions to actually stopping people from gambling at online casinos.
Lehrer summed it up best when he said the UIGEA makes no financial, economic or social sense whatsoever. Or as Congressman Barney Frank likes to say, "The UIGEA is the stupidest law ever passed".
Speaking of Congressman Frank, his proposal to actually regulate online gambling, the Internet Gambling Regulation Enforcement Act, is now scheduled to receive another House Financial Services Committee hearing on April 2. Aptly titled "Proposed UIGEA Regulations: Burden Without Benefit?", the hearing will take a closer look at the questionable policies of the UIGEA and further consider the prospects of online gambling regulation.
Ideally, this hearing will start the momentum needed to overturn the UIGEA and pass effective legislation to regulate online casino gambling.