Frank Bill Passes Committee
By Staff
In the United States, the House Committee on Financial Services has passed a revised version of Congressman Barney Frank’s Payments System Protection Act.

The Act would direct the Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve System, in consultation with the Attorney General, to appoint a special Administrative Law Judge to define ‘unlawful’ online gambling and conduct an economic impact study on the costs for compliance. If enacted, it would have the practical impact of delaying the implementation of regulations under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 through a process designed to ensure that regulations do not impair the functioning of the US payments system or inappropriately prevent legal online transactions.

Passed by a vote of 30 to 19, the bill was the subject of criticism from sports leagues including major league baseball but it is now set for a full vote before the House of Representatives.

Frank introduced the Act in response to concerns raised by the financial services industry that the proposed rules implementing UIGEA would force banks and other payments services to determine for themselves what types of online activity is lawful when the Federal Government itself was unable to specify the distinction. The Massachusetts Democrat stated that, once the bill is passed, ‘at least the banks will know what is and isn't illegal’.

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