The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!

“. . . Page 73 – Johnson, Navin R.! I’m somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity – your name in print – that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now. ” — Steve Martin, The Jerk

jerkWell the new proposed rules for enforcing the UIGEA are out and they are . . . pretty tepid. If I had to sum it up, they put almost no restrictions on ACH and tighten up rules on all other types of money transfers. All in all, it’s a pretty much a non-issue for American players.

The only real questions that may make this a little more tricky than it first appears are:

1. The rules exempt ACH operators but they do specify that the bank that deals with the casino should know the nature of their customer’s business so they are not exempt for the rule. In other words, if RBS in the UK processes ACH transactions for PokerStars then, in theory, RBS should know that Stars is accepting potentially illegal wagers and any ACH transactions with US banks would fall under these rules.

So, the US DOJ could come after RBS but the big question is would they?

2. The proposed rules make it a point (several times, in fact) to not define what an illegal wager is and leave it up to the UIGEA. So, if neither the rules nor the UIGEA clearly state what is or is not an illegal wager then what is the risk exposure for the financial institution? Some financial institutions may say that until it’s defined they’re not going to block any transactions while others may avoid the risk entirely by refusing anything that even smells like funds transfers related to gaming.

So, now this floats out there until Dec 12 for comments and then up to six months for post-comments review before a final version if ready. Yawn. We waited all this time for so very little.


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