US Congressmen Barney Frank and Ron Paul, who made news last month by leading a Financial Services Committee hearing looking at the regulation of online gambling, have written a letter to the heads of the US Treasury and Federal Reserve warning those agencies not to spend any more time trying to find a way to implement provisions of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
As reported in Tuesday's edition of The Hill, which focuses on legislative matters in Washington, DC, the letter from Frank, Paul and Congressmen Luis Gutierrez and Pete King was sent to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The letter advised the agency heads to hold off on writing revised regulations for the UIGEA, after an initial round of rules-crafting for the UIGEA exposed serious flaws in the law's viability. Among the law's most basic flaws is its failure to even define the term "unlawful Internet gambling," instead deferring to a patchwork of already existing state and federal laws that are both confusing and contradictory.
According to the letter, the Congressmen stated, "We believe it would be imprudent for you to devote additional agency resources to this Sisyphean task, especially as we intend to vigorously pursue legislation to prevent the implementation of these regulations." (Sisyphus, in Greek mythology, was an evil king condemned to roll a huge boulder up a hill in the afterlife and watch it roll back down repeatedly, for eternity.)
In asking the agencies to focus their efforts elsewhere, the Congressman also noted the unfunded burden the UIGEA would place on America's banking industry. The letter specifically mentioned the ongoing US mortgage crisis as a far better use of banks' and agencies' use of time and funds.