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News Now

Washington
CUNA to testify UIGEA remains unreasonable burden
WASHINGTON (7/21/10)--Discovery FCU President/CEO Ed Williams later today will discuss the “inappropriate and unreasonable compliance burden” that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) imposes on credit unions during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act. Williams is testifying on behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and is the only finance industry representative that will speak during the hearing. 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. Williams, who’s Reading, Pa.-based credit union currently holds $130 million in assets from 10,500 members, will tell lawmakers that it is “unreasonable to assign the liability for policing internet gambling activity to depository institutions, many of which are small, without giving them the means necessary to determine which transactions are illegal.” CUNA has repeatedly stated that while it supports efforts to eliminate payments to unlawful Internet gambling businesses, the regulations imposed by the UIGEA are overly burdensome. CUNA notes that while regulators have attempted to make improvements in the rulemaking process, more work is needed. H.R. 2267, which was introduced last year by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), 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. Frank’s legislation currently has 69 cosponsors. The hearing, which should be chaired by Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), will also feature testimony from the Commerce Casino’s Tom Malkasian, the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut’s Tribal Chairwoman Lynn Malerba, terrorism/law enforcement consultant Michael Fagan, and professional poker player Annie Duke, who is testifying on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance. The hearing will take place at 2:00 P.M. E.T.


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