|In America, the banking industry has welcomed the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative (SSIGI) proposals introduced late last week by Representatives Barney Frank and Ron Paul.|
Democrat Frank teamed up with the libertarian-minded and former Republican Presidential candidate Paul on the legislation that would block the implementation of rules necessary to enforce the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. UIGEA has faced strong opposition from the financial sector, as it requires banks and other private monetary institutions to act as policeman for the Federal Government and block transactions to online gambling providers.
The pair introduced the SSIGI bill on Friday, less than two weeks after Federal officials testified to Frank’s Committee that they were struggling to craft rules barring payments to illegal online gambling sites with banking industry representatives blasting the proposed regulations as too onerous.
“I don’t know what can be done or will be done legislatively but we certainly appreciate the interest,” Floyd Stoner, top lobbyist for the American Bankers Association told Washington, DC, publication The Hill.
Frank argues that the regulations proposed by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury were ‘impossible to implement without placing a significant burden on the payments system and financial institutions’.
“While I do disagree with the underlying objective of the act, I believe that even those who agree with it ought to be concerned about the regulations’ impact,” said Frank in a statement.
Supporters of UIGEA pledged to beat off any new efforts undo the law and noted that 48 state Attorneys General had pushed for the Federal law to enforce their own bans.
“Our office will vigorously oppose any efforts to repeal or water down any parts of the Federal law,” said Ryan Patmintra, Spokesman for Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, UIGEA’s chief sponsor in the Senate.