Barney Frank Asks Bernanke, Paulson to Stop Online Gambling Policies

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Barney Frank

Congressman Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee which oversees housing and banking industries, has written two letters to both Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake and Secretary Henry Paulson asking that the Treasury Department not burden the banking institutions further with an unfunded mandate, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. That law requires that banks monitor and stop any transactions deemed for unlawful Internet gambling, however, the Treasury Department has not defined what is "unlawful" and what is "lawful".

"I am deeply disappointed to hear that your agency is moving forward with what I consider to be unseemly haste in issuing regulations implementing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act," Congressman Frank writes to Henry Paulson.

Frank's letters came following news that the Treasury Department was moving forward with implementing regulations to prevent banks from processing credit cards for the purpose of online gambling.

The Treasury Department forwarded the final regulations to the Office of Management and Budget on Oct. 21, a necessary step towards their implementation.

It's standard practice for outgoing administrations to finalize controversial regulations before leaving office, a practice known as a midnight drop.

The law as drafted by Congress includes some exemptions for horse race betting, interstate online lotteries and betting on fantasy sports.

"This midnight ruling will tie the hands of the new administration," Frank also wrote in his letter to Mr. Paulson. "(It will) burden the financial services industry at a time of financial crisis, and contradict the stated intent of the Financial Services Committee."

Barney Frank was one of the most supportive voices for Hank Paulson's "Wall Street Bailout".

Christopher Costigan, Publisher


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