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Washington
UIGEA compliance pushed back to June 1
WASHINGTON (11/30/09)—Just days before the compliance date rolled around—and months after urgings to delay implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)—the Federal Reserve and U.S. Department of Treasury announced they were pushing back the law’s Dec. 1 compliance date. The new compliance date is June 1 for the rules requiring 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. The Federal Register document states that the effective date of the final rule published Nov. 18, 2008 (73 FR 69382) remains Jan. 19, 2009—the new rule just gives more compliance leeway. The Credit Union National Association has backed a delay of the compliance date, as have certain lawmakers. A bi-partisan coalition of 19 lawmakers urged the Fed and Treasury to give financial institutions more time to comply with the complicated law. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and 18 other members of that panel sent an Oct. 1 letter to the heads of the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica applauded lawmakers’ efforts when in October House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and 18 other members of that panel sent a letter to the heads of the Treasury Department and the Fed noting that at a time of economic crisis, it is too great a burden on regulators and the financial services industry to move ahead with rules to UIGEA. CUNA opposes the agencies' draft implementation proposal. Also, CUNA testified against the plan at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in April. CUNA witness Harriet May, president/CEO of GECU, El Paso, Texas, reiterated CUNA's concerns that aspects of the proposal would be difficult, if not impossible, to implement. May also said financial institutions could be swamped by the compliance burdens associated with UIGEA. The current plan to implement the complicated law, she said, lacks clarity and sufficient definition of terms. House Financial Services, prior to the regulators’ announced delay, already had scheduled hearing this week on two internet gambling bills. (See related story: Committee to consider financial stability, UIGEA.) Use resource link to read more about the Fed-Treasury action on UIGEA delay.
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