US Gov’t Defers Crackdown against Internet Gambling

The US government deferred the crackdown against Internet gambling by temporary suspending the implementation of the new guideline for a six-month period to give financial institutions in the country ample time to prepare its systems and employees not to accept payments for online gambling.

The United States federal government, through its Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Board, has announced on Friday the six-month deferment of the new guidelines that would impose a tougher crackdown against Internet gambling.

In a joint statement, the two government agencies said that they are giving financial institution in the US ample time to prepare for the implementation of the said rules in compliance with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Financial institutions like banks, credit card companies, and leading firms were given until June 1, 2010 to prepare their system. The new guidelines, which was earlier scheduled to take effect on the first of December, prohibits these financial companies to handle unlawful transactions such as gambling in the Internet.

Under the bill, which was passed in 2006 during the Bush administration, financial institutions would face criminal liabilities it has knowingly accepted payments for online gambling through electronic fund transfers, checks, or credit cards.

It will be recalled that the new bill earned the ire of several groups and critics opposing its implementation, saying that it will just become an enforcement nightmare for the government and the firms involved.Meanwhile, the World Trade Organization, along with several US representatives, is now pushing for moves to overturn the said bill, including the passage of a legislation that would allow online gambling in the US.


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