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ICBA Commends Narrow and Reasonable Internet Gambling Regulations

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 13, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) commended the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Board for writing narrow and reasonable proposed regulations to implement requirements that financial institutions identify and block payments in connection with unlawful Internet gambling as required by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

"ICBA applauds the agencies for proposing regulations that fulfill the law's requirements without imposing undue new burden on all payment system participants," said Viveca Y. Ware, ICBA director of payments and technology policy. "We particularly appreciate the agencies' use of the law's authority to exempt certain transactions where transaction tracking and blocking is not practical."

Rather than exempt categories of transactions or entire payment systems, the agencies based exemptions on a participant's role. This approach correctly places the burden on payment system participants who are best positioned to ascertain whether an entity is engaged in unlawful Internet gambling and to identify and block these restricted transactions, such as the bank that has the customer relationship with the Internet gambling company.

"Community bankers believe that it is critical that their resources be focused where risks to our national safety and financial soundness are greatest," said Ware. "ICBA is deeply concerned when our nation's payment systems are used to track, analyze and block individual payment transactions given the potential for such requirements to undermine payment systems efficiency. Payment systems were not designed for this function."

Read the complete letter at www.icba.org.