FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Supports Identifying and Licensing Internet Gambling Operators
Washington, D.C. (December 3, 2009)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today urged Congress to swiftly pass the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, (H.R. 2267), which would establish a federal regulatory and enforcement framework for identifying and licensing Internet gambling operators.
“Our nation’s more than 8,000 community banks—as well as all other participants in the payments system— should not be put in the impossible position of making legal judgments about which individual businesses are or are not engaged in unlawful Internet gambling,” said Samuel Vallandingham, vice president and chief information officer of First State Bank, Barboursville, W.Va., in his testimony on behalf of ICBA before the House Financial Services Committee. “Those decisions should be made by law enforcement agencies and the court system.”
As the new legislation is currently crafted, licensed operators would have the authority to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the United States subject to certain conditions. The Treasury would have exclusive authority to establish and enforce regulations and issue licenses.
“H.R. 2267 would appropriately give a federal agency, the Treasury, the authority to establish, regulate and enforce lawful Internet gambling, and, most importantly, it would simplify financial institution responsibilities for identifying and blocking unlawful Internet gambling transactions as currently mandated by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA),” said Vallandingham.
During his testimony, Vallandingham also commended House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) for introducing the Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act (H.R. 2266), which would push back the compliance date for the UIGEA regulations from Dec. 1, 2009, to Dec. 1, 2010. He also thanked both the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board for extending the compliance date for the regulations from Dec. 1, 2009, to June 1, 2010. ICBA had urged regulators to adopt the extension so that community banks would not be unduly burdened as they implement a number of consumer-based laws and regulations.
ICBA looks forward to working with the House Financial Services Committee and Congress to ensure that the legislation swiftly passes.
For more information, please visit www.icba.org.