Barney Frank, lawmakers request UIGEA delay

Barney Frank

Barney Frank and 18 other lawmakers are requesting a delay of the implementation of the U.S. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

The anti-online gambling act was originally passed in 2006, but is set to go into effect Dec. 1 forcing U.S. banks to cease fund transfers with existing online gaming companies.

Frank and the group sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve last week asking for the date of compliance to be extended by one year.

The letter went on to urge both departments to consider a recent joint-petition filed by the Poker Players Alliance, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Greyhound Track Operators Association requesting enforcement of the anti-gambling act be delayed.

"We also believe this is an unreasonable burden on regulators and the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis," said the lawmakers in the letter.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Act has been widely criticized for its failure to define what types of gambling are illegal online, making it difficult for financial institutions to determine what transactions should be denied.

Frank also introduced two poker-related bills this legislative session calling for the legalization and regulation of the online gambling industry and asking for enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act to be delayed.

Both pieces of legislation are still pending. The legalization and regulation bill currently has 60 co-sponsors while the delay bill has 48.

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