US Gamblers: STOP the Bush Administration r.e. the UIGEA

The outgoing Bush administration is trying to pull a fast one in its last days in power. According to a 11 Nov 08 Dow Jones Newswire:

The Treasury Department has finalized regulations that would effectively ban online gambling in the U.S. and is trying to have them implemented in the waning days of the Bush administration.

The controversial rules would make it illegal for banks to process credit card transactions from most Internet gambling sites.

Their implementation has been opposed by groups advocating individuals’ right to gamble, the banking industry, Democratic lawmakers in Congress and even officials at the Federal Reserve.

The rules stem from a last-minute addition to a law passed in the final hours of the Republican controlled Congress in 2006. The provisions related to online gambling were included in an unrelated port security bill.

The wire goes on to say that it is “…standard practice for outgoing administrations to finalize controversial regulations before leaving office, a practice known as a midnight drop.”

Really? The global financial markets are in crisis and the U.S. government — our government — wants to add more work for our banks? I don’t think that this is where our priorities should be at the moment!

Have your voice heard by providing feedback to the Federal Reserve Board via their Contact Us page. Select the second radio button, select Consumer complaints from the drop down list, and enter your views in the text box. Here is a template that you can use to get you started.

I am writing to express my concerns regarding the Treasury Department’s finalization of regulations to enforce the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. I understand that the regulations were finalized and forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget on Oct. 21, 2008, and am opposed to their being put into practice.

There are two reasons why I am opposed to the implementation of these regulations:

1. The global financial markets are in turmoil. The world is looking to the United States banking system to provide the stability necessary to get financial markets back on track in as short a time as possible. If the proposed regulations were put into practice, this would result in lost time, energy, and effort on the part of our banks in dealing with compliance with the regulations. Our banks’ priorities need to be on staying solvent and providing leadership in this time of crisis!

2. The impact on the average American citizen has not been studied. If US banks were required to comply with these regulations, there is no telling what the impact on the bank’s customers may be. The issue needs to be studied, and that study must include thought-leadership from the banks themselves, and not lawmakers.

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