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Posts Tagged ‘UIGEA’

PPA One Day Money Bomb a success!

The Money Bomb online fundraiser in July 1st was a huge success. Generating more than $25,000 in donations, the “Poker Money Bomb” funds will be used to defend the legitimacy of regulated Internet gaming on Capitol Hill.

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New UIGEA Law will Cost US Banks, not Internet Poker Players or Poker Rooms

American poker players received a new reminder that the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act [UIGEA] Deadline on June 1st was coming. A few days ago, US players who were still playing online poker on the MicroGaming network were privy to emails like the following:

“Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, as of 1 June 2010, PokerTime will no longer be able to take bets from players residing in the United States.

“If you currently have a balance in your account you will need to cash-in prior to 31 May 2010 as PokerTime will not be able to process cash-ins after this date.”

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eCredit Daily: Card Networks Must Now Detect Betting

Federal law went into effect on June 1, 2010 to hinder online gambling activity in the United States. Instead of seeking the websites and players who participate in the now illicit activity, the Fed is going after the banks who allow money to be transferred to the gambling websites.

Beginning June 1, credit and debit card processors must have “reasonably designed policies and procedures” in place to detect if U.S. transactions are tied to bets placed with Internet gambling sites, according to a finalized rule by the Federal Reserve.
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Missouri Man The Latest To Be Charged Under UIGEA

A 51-year-old Missouri man has been charged with participating in the conduct of a gambling business and conspiracy to launder the proceeds of a gambling business by the U.S. District Court of Maryland.

Kenneth Wienski of O’Fallon, Mo., was charged under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) for transferring money to and from Internet gambling operators to fund player accounts.

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Internet Gambling Deposit Tax A Bone Of Contention In Ways And Means Hearing

A hearing on the taxation of Internet gambling was held today. Regulations proposed by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash), some of which include possible deposit taxes, were considered. The proposal also outlines a .25 percent tax on each wager, along with a .2 percent tax on a deposit. Witnesses and members of the committee weigh the pros and cons of the proposal.

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America To Consider Online Gambling Tax

The US House Committee on Ways and Means is reviewing revenue steams generated from Internet gambling and looking into taxing online gaming.

The USA is reviewing tax proposals related to online gambling.

It is currently illegal to knowingly accept payments in connection with internet gambling in the US under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and further legislation is being introduced on 1 June to ensure that all financial authorities comply. (more…)

Poker Players Alliance Plans for the UIGEA

online-poker-300x2252The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which will see the tightening of the avenues which players in the US will be able to legally wager online. While the PPA was successful in its initial attempt to get the bill delayed, the thought is that a second such delay is unlikely. While the PPA said they will file another petition, it is more likely that the target will be to refine the bill instead of trying to dealy its arrival. The original article appears below:

Another delay of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is unlikely after Congressman Barney Frank told PokerNews last week that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner promised Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) he wouldn’t hold up the regulations any longer. The pact between Geithner and Kyl, which Kyl leveraged by blocking President Obama’s Treasury nominees from being confirmed by the Senate, also was written about by the Washington Post on Saturday.

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Experts Testify at Internet Gambling Hearing

gavel-and-chips1Experts in the fields of online security and consumer safety testified today before the House Committee on Financial Services to address legislation introduced by Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) that would regulate Internet gambling in the United States. Witness testimonies provided further evidence to Committee members that a regulatory framework for Internet gambling would protect consumers and ensure the integrity of Internet gambling financial transactions. Chairman Frank has previously indicated interest in having the House Financial Services Committee vote on his legislation, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2267) as the next step in getting the bill enacted into law during this Congress.

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Gambling and the Law®: What the Proposed UIGEA Regs Mean for Players

gamblingandthelaw.jpgLast October, Congress passed the unworkable Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which I call Prohibition 2.0.  It required federal regulators to write regs requiring money transferors, including banks, credit card companies and e-wallets, to identify and block funds for illegal Internet gambling. What does this mean for the Players?

Faced with an impossible task, the regulators punted: They issued proposed regulations that tell the banks, etc., “It’s your problem.  You shouldn’t block legal online gambling transactions. But if you transfer funds for an illegal bet, you will be fined, or worse.”

The immediate impact of these proposed regs for players is . . . nothing.  Nothing has changed, and nothing will change, for many, many months. The long-run impact is not as rosy. There will be plenty of ways to get around whatever procedures are eventually put into place to i.d. and block funds transfers for unlawful gambling. But all American financial institutions, and their large counterparts overseas, are not going to take chances: They will block all gambling transactions, even legal ones.

So, poker players will be forced to open foreign bank accounts, use foreign credit cards and e-wallets, or use slower and sometimes even less reliable means, such as snailmailing paper checks or using phone cards. The Act had been rammed through Congress by the failed politician, then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-TN). Frist attached it to the SAFE PORTS Act and told Democrats that if they didn’t like it, they could vote against it, and be seen as being soft on Islamist terrorism.

Although Prohibition 2.0 scared the bejesus out of publicly traded poker companies, it actually does only two things: It creates one new crime, being a gambling business that accepts money for unlawful Internet gambling transactions, and requires new regulations for payment processors. What it doesn’t do is make it a crime to play poker on the Internet. It doesn’t directly restrict players from sending or receiving money. It doesn’t spell out what forms of gambling are “unlawful.” Specifically, it does not do what the federal Department of Justice (“DOJ”) wanted, which was to “clarify” that the Wire Act covers Internet casinos, lotteries and poker.

The new felony it creates is greatly limited. Only gambling businesses can be convicted, not players. Bizarrely, for a law designed to prevent money transfers, the financial institutions involved in those transfers, including e-wallets, are expressly defined as not being gambling businesses and so cannot be convicted of this new crime. The proposed regs have finally been issued, four months late. The general public now has until December 12 to make comments. The agencies will then make changes in the proposed regs. The final versions will then be published, supposedly giving everyone six months to set up their procedures.

This is not going to happen.

The proposed regs put the burden entirely on the payment processors to come up with procedures for identifying and blocking restricted money transfers. But this can’t be done in six months.  In fact, it can’t be done at all. The problem is defining “unlawful Internet gambling.” 

Take, for example, poker. It is unclear whether online poker violates any federal law.  Some states, like California, do have specific prohibitions on unlicensed commercial poker, but it is unclear whether these apply to foreign operators. And 157 years of bad cases and obscure statutes make it a crime to participate, as a player, in any poker game where the pot is raked more than four times. How many payment processors even know what it means to rake a pot four times?

The problem for players is there is no law forcing U.S. banks to transmit funds for legal gambling, while there will be penalties for transmitting funds for what turns out to be an unlawful bet.

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© Copyright 2008.  Professor I Nelson Rose is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on gambling law, and is a consultant and expert witness for governments and industry.  His latest books, INTERNET GAMING LAW and GAMING LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS, are available through his website, www.GAMBLINGANDTHELAW.com.

Live it up in Lake Charles!