Difficulties in enforcement of the UIGEA on the agenda

The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, an advocacy group pressing for the legalisation and licensing of online gambling in the United States, reports that Congressman Barney Frank’s Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act (HR2266) and Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (HR 2267) will be the subject of further legislative hearings in the House Committee on Financial Services next Friday, April 16th.

No markup of either bill is planned, the organisation notes. HR 2266 mandates a one-year extension in industry compliance with the regulations of the UIGEA, while HR 2267 outlines a full framework for licensing and regulating the industry in the United States.

A related bill recently introduced in the House is HR 4976, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act. The bill, introduced by Congressman Jim McDermott, is a companion proposal to HR 2267 and seeks to tax licensed internet gambling operators at a federal rate of 2 percent and a state rate of 6 percent.

Speaking for the Initiative, Michael Waxman said, “This hearing will provide further evidence that UIGEA is a poorly-crafted law that simply does not work. A more common sense approach to protect Americans is required.

"We expect this hearing to provide further impetus for the House Financial Services Committee and Congress to address this issue and move forward Chairman Frank’s regulatory bill.”

Official spokesmen say the discussion will focus on “governmental perspectives” and follows a separate hearing that took place in December. However, a major discussion point is expected to be the difficulty banks will face implementing the UIGEA, which has continued to be much criticised for its lack of precision (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Interested parties can keep track of the proceedings through a live webcast on the official website of the House Financial Services Committee.

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