Online Gambling

Regulators 'Simply Gave Up' on Blocking Online Gambling


Gambling law expert Nelson Rose says federal regulators "simply gave up" when confronted with the impossibility of implementing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). After receiving a flood of objections from financial institutions, the Treasury Department will not require them to figure out the difference between legal and illegal online gambling, a distinction Congress deliberately left vague and regulators refuse to clarify. The Bush administration's final regulations under the UIGEA, issued last week, require American credit card companies to invent new codes for certain transactions and require financial institutions to ask their clients to avoid illegal gambling. Otherwise, Rose says, "everyone else can basically continue to do what they are now doing," including American gamblers who use overseas intermediaries to place bets and collect their winnings. Money sent to individual gamblers does not even qualify as a "restricted transaction," Rose notes, and the regulations "now make it clear that payment processors should not waste their time checking on where money is sent by individuals." The government concedes "there are no reasonably practical steps that a U.S. participant [financial institution] could take to prevent their consumer customers from sending restricted transactions cross-border."  

I interviewed Rose for my June reason article about the online gambling crackdown. Last week Radley Balko noted that the Bush administration rushed to finish the UIGEA rules before its rule making authority expired, under the guidance of a former lobbyist for the NFL, one of the UIGEA's major backers.

NEXT: A Bush Postmortem

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  1. Damn! I want it illegal! Then everyone has to go to brick and mortar casinos. Where I work!

  2. Well, at least for once they found that impenging on freedom was too cumbersome and costly, well if that is what works, then why do we spend BILLIONS per year to make a plant illeagle. When will the goverment realize that freedoms and morality CAN NOT BE LEGISLATED! thay come from within and are inherint to being human! Freedom is free, no taxes or laws to restrict it are needed. just laws to make sure that you do not infringe on the rights of others. I wish i lived in a libertarian world! with a free market, people resopnsible for thier own lives low taxes, small fed goverment, power restored to the people and the states, the DEA shut down the medicare and SS offices phased out, oh what a dream to dream!

  3. Naga,

    Ive been wondering when a B&M would put in screens at the poker tables in order to eliminate dealers but still allow face-to-face betting.

  4. robc,

    I don’t have the info on that. I do know why slot machines still have that damn crank arm on them when all people have to do is push a button. People like to pull the arm. Simple as that. So slot machines still have them. I suspect it is the same with actual dealers in poker.

  5. Why can’t they do this with drugs? oh…

  6. Ain’t nobody’s business if you do…. Read my BOOK!

  7. I think the reason poker is not all machine is the trust factor. I know when i hit a casino for a withdrawl, i need to know the stakes. a machine that has cards in its program will always be harder to beat than a player or a dealer, who will almost never play perfect all the time. it can be seen in blackjack. on the machines youi loose money, on a table with an autoshuffler, you loose money. on a table with a dealer who shuffles and a 5 or 10 deck shoe, you can play all night long! because you know the number of cards, you know the porbablities, and you know when and how to bet larger. something that with a machine or a dealer with a continous auto-shuffle you can not.

  8. Wow, so being unable to affect change somewhere ACTUALLY STOPPED the Federal Government from trying?

    I’m impressed.

  9. Can anyone recommend a good hold-em outfit? Horseracing has been tearing me a new asshole lately.

  10. I can dodge bullets, baby.

  11. hooray for futility!

  12. This is fantastic news. I’m an avid cardplayer but I’ve been out of it for a bit. God bless the US government for its incredible incompetence.

  13. IIRC, wasn’t some offshore gambling kingpin arrested when he came through the states on his way somewhere else?

    If so, what ever happened with that?

  14. So, bottom line, is PartyPoker accepting funds from the US?

  15. This whole article is yet another variation on the “True Capitalism Has never been tried” argument.

  16. If, as I recall, neglecting to adopt new regulations counts as a deregulation, doesn’t that mean that Bush has deregulated internet gambling?

  17. Party is not accepting US players. All of the sites that pulled out are still out.

    Pokerstars, FullTilt, Bodog, Cake all remain viable options. Absolute and Ultimate Bet remain open, but mired in scandals.

  18. You know you’re kicking ass when people who don’t dare ague with you post silly things in your name elsewhere in the hope you won’t see them.

    Oddly enough, I’ve never felt the need to do that.

    Anyway, my comment was going to be, “So…they folded?”

  19. Damn, another defeat for the GOPer Bushpigs.. I can’t keep up with the pace!

    C’mon – I want legal beans!


  20. Ive been wondering when a B&M would put in screens at the poker tables in order to eliminate dealers but still allow face-to-face betting.

    They’re here, in several casinos. I don’t have time at this writing to provide links, but the interested can find the info.

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