Lawmakers Seek To Delay UIGEA Implementation
October 5, 2021

Numerous DC lawmakers including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, and multiple Republican Congressman like Ron Paul and Judy Biggert, sent a letter recently to the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Department, urging the postponement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

Though passed in 2006, the UIGEA is finally due to be fully implemented this December 1st, but according to the 19 lawmakers who signed the letter, doing so may put an "unreasonable burden on regulators and the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis."

The lawmakers are seeking a year delay, as originally suggested last month in a joint petition sent from the Poker Players Alliance, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Greyhound Track Operators Association, who are concerned about the very real possibility of overblocking that may occur, when the bill is finally implemented. 

Overblocking, which can be defined as financial institutions and payment processors playing it overly safe when interpreting the fuzzy language of the new regulations, could unfairly interfere with or stop countless legitimate legal transactions from everyday Americans including those involved with state lotteries, horse racing and internet poker.

Many of the 19 co-signers of the letter are also known to be involved in crafting separate legislation that either seeks to clarify the language of the UIGEA, replace it with something else, or get it completely overturned, and if these lawmakers are successful in getting Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Chairman Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve System to agree to this new delay, the chances of the U.S. finally having a more reasonable and well thought out national policy concerning internet gambling seem particularly promising.

Story by Mark Anderson

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