There might be a new president-elect but the man who is currently at the helm of the world’s greatest nation is still George W. Bush, the same man who put into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act. This means that it is still within his administration’s power to do what they want to do with regard to Internet gambling – and they did do something!
Yesterday, they issued a final regulation, the ultimate effect of which is to really ban Internet gambling. The Associate Press has this report:
The rule from the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve requires those companies to establish procedures to prevent payments in connection with unlawful Internet gambling. They would be expected to comply by Dec. 1, 2009.
The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., had asked the Treasury this week not to move ahead now, saying it would “burden the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis.”
The rule does not define “unlawful Internet gambling.” That has been an issue since Republicans pushed through the law that the new rule puts in place, by attaching it to a port security bill in 2006.
The law sought to curb online gambling by prohibiting financial institutions from accepting payments from credit cards, checks or electronic fund transfers to settle online wagers. But the law did not offer a clear definition of Internet gambling, instead referring to existing federal and state laws, which themselves provoke differing interpretations.
The big problem here is that they have not – or cannot – define exactly what unlawful Internet gambling is. Now how can a law be enforced if no one fully understand its scope and delimitations?