I’ve recently learned of a letter, dated February 11, 2008, from Sen. Sununu on the topic of the proposed Treasury regulations for the UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). While I have not yet acquired a copy of the letter in question, my understanding is that the letter urges greater clarity in the proposed regulations.
The regulations (available here) essentially place all of the responsibility for the enforcement of the UIGEA on the banks and financial institutions. Why does this matter? It is another piece of evidence that the UIGEA is not the most ideal piece of legislation, and may in fact be short lived. As there are already at least three proposed alternative bills (including the Skill Game Protection Act), it may only be a matter of time before the UIGEA is pushed to the status of mere historical footnote.
However, I’m getting ahead of myself. The letter in question, as I understand it, notes this major difficulty in the regulations, specifically placing an undue burden on the financial institutions and wholly lacking clarity in what gaming is actually “banned.” The law, as a global concept, is supposed to be a clear arbiter of an issue, and clarity is a feature that the UIGEA lacks.
The Treasury will release their revised regulations sometime in the not too distant future. Until then, we can only speculate as to what the end result will be, or what other bills may pass in the mean time.
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