Obama Administration Fails Online Gambling

Although not confirmed as yet, there have been some concerns voiced on internet gambling forums about the possible implementation of a sterner control measure pertaining to electronic payments and transfers.

Current banking and financial organisations are compelled to notify the United States Federal government should any international electronic transfer exceed the amount of $10,000.   The Obama administration is going one step further and has implemented a policy that will clamp down on all foreign electronic funds transfers, from and to the United States.

Citizens in the US are outraged about this new policy and feel it’s an invasion of privacy, the government’s justification of this new policy is to stop terrorist from financing possible attacks on US soil and money laundering.  This is one of the main reasons why the Bush government enforced the UIGEA in 2006 attached to the Safe Port Bill.

The question everybody is asking now, how will this impact on US internet casino and online poker players?  The problem that now arises is if a US citizen transfer’s cash to an overseas internet casino the transaction will be reported to the federal government.

The majority of these cash transfers are less than $10,000, under the current regulations these cash transfers are not reported.  Assuming this new legislation is enforced overseas electronic transfers less than a $100 will be reported.  The ramifications for internet gamblers would be dire.

Should a payment processor be under investigation and found guilty by means of conducting illegal transactions it would be prosecuted under the law and all the players associated with that specific payment processor would be found guilty as well.  This new system will ensure that the government sees absolute transparency.

James H. Freis Jr. the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the US Treasury Department, said recently, “The establishment of a centralized database, will enable law enforcement agencies to detect and weed – out foreign organized crime, multinational drug cartels, terrorist financing and international tax evasion.”

Investigators into this matter reported that the US federal government is said to spend $30 million plus in the implementation of this new infrastructure to process weekly reports from banking and financial organisations of all electronic money transfers in and outside the United States.  Most American financial institutions are seriously unhappy with the present legislation; since they can’t meet the stringent measures enforced on them as a result of UIGEA.

The last couple of years have not been good for the American online gambling community and this news is set to have a ripple effect.  So far no luck to dislodge the ban on internet gambling in the US, Barney Frank’s bill and other pending legislation are on ice at the moment till the midterm elections.  The cherry on the cake would be if the Republicans manage to win the upcoming elections, the proverbial wolf would be in the henhouse…



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