House subcommittee to hold UIGEA hearing

American justice

On Wednesday the House Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology will host a hearing about the proposed Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act regulations.

The hearing is titled "Proposed UIGEA Regulations: Burden without Benefit?" and will take place at 10 a.m. (EDT) in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C.

The Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology subcommittee is a part of the House Financial Services Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

Frank has been an outspoken opponent of the UIGEA and even introduced legislation last year that would overturn the new law.

His bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act, seeks to legalize online gambling and set up a system to regulate the industry rather than trying to ban it.

Frank's bill includes provisions that licensing requirements would include protections against underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money laundering and fraud. It also gives the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network the authority to establish regulations and license Internet gambling operations including poker and casino Web sites.

In order to operate legally in the United States, online gambling site operators would have to apply for a license. During the process, they would be subject to review of their financial condition, corporate structure and criminal background checks.

The companies would have to agree to be subject to U.S. jurisdiction, and those that obtain a license would also have to agree not to accept any type of bet or wager that is initiated or terminated in a state or tribal land that prohibits that type of Internet gambling.

The UIGEA is currently in the implementation stages as the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve work together to come up with a set of regulations to put the new law in place and enforce it.

In the meantime, the law has continued to face criticism from the online gambling industry as well as organizations such as the Poker Players Alliance.

The list of witnesses and speakers at the hearing has not been released yet, but it is likely that many of the UIGEA's detractors will be on hand to weigh in.

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