Strong Reaction from Al D’Amato and Others on Proposed Fed Rules to Implement UIGEA

by Lou on October 4, 2007

When the Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System announced the release of a joint proposed rule to implement the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) a few days ago, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) responded with a strong statement:
Former U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato, who is now the PPA’s Chairman said, “Poker players, the American banking community, and anyone who values Internet and personal freedoms should be troubled by this intrusive rule. Deputizing private U.S. financial institutions to determine what are lawful and unlawful transactions will lead to the monitoring and blocking of the personal and lawful financial transactions of many of their customers who wish to play games of skill, like poker, on the internet. This seems more like the actions of Iran than the USA. We are hopeful that sensibility will prevail before these rules are finalized.”

He added, “Congress should act immediately to pass legislation which will effectively regulate Internet poker and provide the proper safeguards to prevent minors from participating in Internet gaming, preserve states’ rights and ensure privacy and security of online transactions.”

The stir created by the feds proposed rule might help Rep. Barney Frank’s Internet Gambling Enforcement Act gain additional traction in Congress. Although Frank’s bill has 37 cosponsors, it has not yet received the support it needs to ensure passage.

The PPA wasn’t the only group to weigh in on the proposed rule. The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA) claims these regulations will put the kibosh on internet innovation and stifle the United States’ content-neutral financial system.

In a statement released earlier, iMEGA said, “The regulations, while they are supposed to provide for a system which identifies legal transactions between persons who are allowed to enjoy Interactive gaming, instead virtually condemn the system to complete elimination because of the payment system providers’ risk of criminal penalties and injunction against further financial transactions if they guess wrong.”

Stick around; there’s seldom a dull moment in this war of words.

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