December 1, 2009

Treasury and FRB Extend Effective Date for Implementation of Compliance Requirements of Rule Restricting Internet Gambling

The Department of the Treasury and the FRB extended to June 1, 2010 the effective date for financial services providers to implement the compliance requirements of a final rule that imposes restrictions on online gambling pursuant to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The rule requires, among other things, that non-exempt financial institutions that participate in payment systems that may be used to transfer money for purposes of unlawful Internet gambling “establish and implement written policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit unlawful Internet gambling transactions restricted by the Act.” Specifically, the designated payment systems include automated clearing house systems; systems for credit, debit, pre-paid or stored-value cards; check collection systems; wire transfer systems, and certain money transmitting businesses. The rule, which was published on November 18, 2008, became effective January 19, 2009, but compliance with the rule is delayed from December 1, 2009 to June 1, 2010. The delay in the effective date will give banks and other covered financial services providers more time to comply with what the Treasury and FRB described as the “challenging” definition of “unlawful Internet gambling” and will also give members of Congress, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, the time they have requested to prepare and enact amendments to the Act that would reduce the regulatory burden on financial institutions. Click here for the Federal Register notice concerning the extension.