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Washington
Lawmakers voice concerns over Internet gambling plan
WASHINGTON (1/2/08)—Sixteen House Republicans wrote to the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Board recently warning that their joint proposal to implement a 2006 ban against most forms of Internet gambling could have major unintended consequences for financial institutions and credit card companies. Led by Rep. Pete Session (R-Tex.), the House members wrote that the proposal was overly broad and does not give clear and consistent guidance to the regulated entities charged with blocking Internet gambling transaction. (CongressDaily Dec. 20). The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, signed into law Oct. 13, 2006, prohibits financial institutions and credit card companies from processing payments associated with online gambling. Under the law, banks and credit card companies are prohibited from processing payments for online bets. Businesses that accept credit cards, wire transfers or any other bank instrument to process those payments could be prosecuted. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), as reported earlier, also has expressed reservations about the joint agency proposal, warning it threatens to impose an "unforeseen regulatory burdens" on credit unions and other financial institutions. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica recently wrote House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) asking for a moratorium on the law's implementation until "a more reasonable approach can be considered by Congress and the regulators."


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