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Congressmen Introduce Bill to Stop UIGEA

Barney Frank and Ron Paul want UIGEA Off Books

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Congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) have teamed up to introduce a bill that would prevent employees of the federal government to implement the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

If passed, H.R. 5767, introduced April 10, would prohibit the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from “proposing, prescribing, or implementing any regulation that requires the financial services industry to identify and block internet gambling transactions.”

The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve System were given the task to write the UIGEA rules that banks will have to eventually follow unless this bill is passed.

Frank is the main sponsor and Paul is the first co-sponsor of the bill. Both men expressed concern about the proposed rules and regulations of the UIGEA at a subcommittee hearing that took place earlier this month. Both believe that the Federal government shouldn’t legislate morality and also warned that they don’t believe the financial system can handle the policing task of identifying and stopping all transactions between Americans and what the UIGEA calls “illegal Internet gambling” companies.

Paul submitted a written statement during the hearing on the proposed UIGEA rules that was held April 2, which included:

“The ban on Internet gambling infringes upon two freedoms that are important to many Americans: the ability to do with their money as they see fit, and the freedom from government interference with the Internet. The regulations and underlying bill also force financial institutions to act as law enforcement officers. This is another pernicious trend that has accelerated in the aftermath of the Patriot Act, the deputization of private businesses to perform intrusive enforcement and surveillance functions that the federal government is unwilling to perform on its own.”

Paul then urged his colleague to support Frank’s HR 2046, which calls for the licensing and taxing of Internet gambling. It was introduced last April, has 45 co-sponsors, and remains in committee.

Click here to read about the UIGEA hearing.