The US Treasury has announced an extension to the date for compliance to the UIGEA
In a move which brings a sigh of relief from financial institutions and online gambling operators alike, the extra six months given to companies to comply with the law gives some breathing space to all concerned. The postponement also provides Barney Frank, the House Financial Services Committee Chairman to push his bill to overturn the UIGEA through Congress.
In a letter drafted earlier on in the year, Frank, backed by other members of his panel had requested the Treasury and Federal Reserve delay the initially set deadline for imposition of the new rules. Frank said that this compliance extension gives legislators the time they need to undo the ill-advised law. The Democrat from Massachusetts has also said in a separate statement about the Treasury and Fed, that they deserve a lot of credit for the suspension of those regulations, which, had they been allowed to come into force on 1st December, would pose what would amount to unrealistic burdens on all the financial community.
Critics have long stated that the law as it stands does not distinguish between online wagering whether it is deemed legal or illegal. Several states permit online betting to occur on horse racing and also dog racing, while the State of California permits the purchase or lottery tickets over the Internet. These all fall into the same category of Internet gambling, yet are not enforced in the same way as online casinos and their operators.
Several high profile gambling related groups also requested a delay in the implementation of the law for a year. With the deadline rapidly approaching and only a few days left to go before the law finally came into full effect, many expressed their relief that a stay of execution had been given, even at this late stage.
Now the work begun by Frank and his panel to not only overturn the unpopular anti-online gambling law but to find a working replacement that will regulate an industry estimated to be worth billions of dollars can continue hopefully to its conclusion within the additional time frame provided by this extension.