Four republican congressman call for UIGEA clarification

An open letter written by four Republican Congressman to the heads of the Federal Reserve Board and US Treasury calls for a more „deliberative“ approach for crafting regulations for the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

The petition strongly urges that a formal definition of „unlawful internet gambling“ itself be finalized before the law’s required rules are placed into effect.

In the July 25th letter, addressed to Henry M. Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury, and Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the four Republican Congressman – Judy Biggert, Jim Gerlach, Christopher Shays and Kevin McCarthy – proclaim their continuing support for UIGEA but assail the bill’s „vague language“ and undue regulatory burden on affected industries, especially small businesses.

Along with asking for a formal definition of „unlawful internet gambling,“ the four ask for two additional steps in the UIGEA process: to transition the current rulemaking endeavor to a formal process headed by an Administrative Law Judge; and to conduct Regulatory Flexibility Analysis on the UIGEA’s true financial burden upon affected businesses.

The initial fiscal numbers quoted by UIGEA’s backers regarding the true cost of implementation and regulation have been shown to have little connection to the bill’s projected impact on the banking industry and other business sectors.

The letter also represents the first open Republican split regarding implementation of the UIGEA. Previous efforts to overturn or undo the UIGEA’s language had, with only minimal exceptions, been driven by Democratic interests. Votes on these measures, including the bill championed by Barney Frank, had produced splits largely along party lines.