Tough Times ahead for US players?
From reading this article, beginning december 2009 financial institutions are supposed to become stricter with monitoring and reporting possible Online gambling. It makes we wonder about the comfort of not worrying about a check mailed from a gaming site thats to be cashed within a US bank to the restrictions on using pre-paid credit cards even. It may come to the point where US players are forced to use over seas E-Wallets and pay outrageous deposit and withdrawing fees. I found the article on the AGA (American Gaming Association) Website...
FEDERAL LEGISLATION AND REGULATION
Because of disagreements over the legal interpretation of the Wire Act, Congress has taken steps to pass legislation that would explicitly ban Internet gambling. These efforts have been unsuccessful largely because of the potentially broad impact of a ban on a variety of interests, including Internet service providers, state governments and different segments of the gaming industry.
With an outright ban meeting significant resistance, lawmakers in 2001 began to take a different tack: They introduced legislation that would ban the use of credit cards and other financial instruments for the purpose of illegal Internet gambling.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
In 2006, Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) secured the passage of the first federal legislation restricting the burgeoning online gambling sector when they attached the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) to federal legislation crafted to increase the security of U.S. ports. The action took place in the waning hours of the 109th Congress, and later was signed into law by President Bush. The AGA took a neutral stance on this legislation.
Rather than attempt to reach off-shore operators by strengthening U.S. anti-gambling laws, the legislation attacks the payment mechanisms used to place bets on the thousands of offshore online gambling sites currently in operation. The bill makes it illegal for banks, credit card companies or similar institutions to collect on a debt incurred on an online gambling site. The language closely mirrors the legislation sponsored by Jim Leach (R-IA) that was easily passed out of the House Financial Services Committee earlier in 2006.
The bill does not update the federal Wire Act of 1961 to specifically apply to all forms of online gambling. It does not resolve the dispute between the U.S. Justice Department and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on whether the Wire Act applies to all forms of online gambling. It does not resolve whether the U.S. horseracing industry is legally entitled to an exemption from a ban on online gambling. Nor does it resolve whether Native American tribes, as sovereign nations, retain the right to operate online gambling sites regardless of federal restrictions. Essentially, the bill maintains the status quo in the U.S., never clearly defining exactly what is legal or illegal online wagering.
The Federal Reserve and Department of the Treasury released the final regulations pertaining to the UIGEA in November 2008. As with the draft regulations that were first released in 2007, the final rule does not state a clear definition of what is considered “illegal Internet gambling.” The final rule places the enforcement burden on financial institutions like banks and credit card companies, but tells
financial institutions not to spend time looking at individual credit card transactions. However, financial institutions must perform “due diligence” to make sure that their commercial customers are not in the Internet gambling business. They must undertake the same “know your client” processes that they already use to prevent money laundering. Over 12,000 small businesses are subject to the new regulations, and the rulemaking agencies estimate that the recordkeeping burden on financial institutions will add up to “approximately one million hours.”
The final regulations went into effect on January 19, 2009, but companies have until December 2009 to comply.