The controversial regulations supporting the U.S. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, rammed through in the dying days of the Bush administration and only recently effective, are already causing waves where they were not intended, it appears.
The regulations place the burden of enforcement on an already stretched US financial services industry, requiring it to dislocate payments to and from online gambling firms without specifying in sufficient detail what is defined as "illegal". The predictions were that this lack of precision would cause confusion and result in financial companies erring on the side of caution to stop "non-illegal" transactions, and this week it became apparent that this has already started happening.
New Hampshire authorities, desperate to generate more revenue without further hammering hard-pressed tax payers, said this week that the impact of UIGEA regulations was being felt on the state's lottery activities. Credit card companies have stopped processing subscription packages to the Powerball lottery, which has caused millions of dollars to be lost in the state.
Consequently, the state is looking at new ways to raise funds - and one of them includes increasing land gambling by legalising slot machines!
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