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CUNA testifies about UIGEAs continued burdens
WASHINGTON (7/22/10)—Testifying on behalf of the Credit Union National Association, Discovery FCU President/CEO Ed Williams on Wednesday told the House Financial Services Committee that fully licensing and regulating online gambling portals used by U.S. citizens would eliminate some of the uncertainty that credit unions face regarding compliance with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Click to view larger image CUNA's Bill Cheney thanks Ed Willams (right), CUNA board member and a witness for the association before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, for delivering the association's viewpoint during a hearing on Internet gambling legislation. With Cheney and Willams are (from left) CUNA staffers Chris Gaginis, John Hildreth and Ryan Donovan. (CUNA Photo)
UIGEA regulations currently require credit unions and other financial institutions to establish and implement policies and procedures to identify and block restricted internet gambling transactions, or rely on those procedures established by the payments system. In a prepared statement, Williams said that while the number of transactions that his credit union blocks due to UIGEA rules is “no more than a handful per month,” the transaction blocking process does create a number of false positives that “should not have been blocked.” Williams added that he supports H.R. 2267, which would give the U.S. Treasury the authority to license internet gambling operators to accept bets and wagers from U.S. citizens and to create regulations for those gambling operators. However, regardless of the status of that legislation, Williams said that regulators and legislators should strengthen the safe harbor rules contained in the current legislation. The Treasury and the Department of Justice should also develop and maintain their own lists of both legal and illegal internet gambling providers and provide safe harbors to financial institutions that use those lists when deciding which transactions should be blocked.


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