Last ditch attempts to postpone the mandatory implementation of UIGEA regs
Last ditch attempts to persuade federal officials to postpone the UIGEA regulations continued this week.
December 1st 2009 is U-day; the implementation date of the regulations supporting the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act compelling US financial institutions to block financial transactions with imprecisely defined 'illegal' online gambling operators.
Among others, including Congressman Barney Frank, the Poker Players Alliance has been active in petitioning for the postponement of the regulations for a year in order to create an environment for debate and to avoid over-blocking by confused and busy financial institutions burdened with enforcing the federal law.
The PPA has some unlikely allies in its initiative in the form of National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Greyhound Track Operators Association, and on Monday six influential Kentucky Congressmen added their weight to the request.
Republicans Geoff Davis, Harold Rogers, Edward Whitfield and Brett Guthrie, and Democrats Ben Chandler and John Yarmuth submitted a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to support pushing the December 1 deadline back a year.
The letter cites a specific example of the law being misapplied - a case where MasterCard had stopped processing transactions with the code used by the U.S. horse racing industry in preparation for UIGEA's enforcement, despite horse racing receiving an exemption in the legislation.
"This letter cites a specific incident where overblocking occurred, so I think that could be particularly powerful with the Treasury and Federal Reserve Board," said PPA executive director John Pappas. "But I think the letters from others will carry just as much weight."
Fighting the requests for postponement are arch online gambling detractors Representative Spencer Bachus and Senator Jon Kyl, both of whom have written to the federal officials protesting at any attempt to postpone the implementation of the regulations.