Gambling Compliance’s Breakdown of 2267 Amendments

+ more on the looming online gambling “black list”

by , Aug 9, 2010 | 7:13 pm

For those not familiar, Gambling Compliance is one of a small handful of uberwonk journals for executive-types in the online gambling world. With offices in London and Washington DC, GC puts out high-level industry analysis that at least a handful of insiders find worth a £3,000-£5,000 in Europe subscription fee.

But they do make some content occasionally available for public consumption by non-subscribers. One I’ve been meaning to share for a while is the perfect companion piece to KevMath’s markup of HR 2267. (Supposedly Congressional staffers charged with the official cut-and-paste need a few more days to do what KevMath got done more than a week ago.)

Check it out … I like the cool, color-coded map; but the most important stuff is probably the breakdown by industry sector, explaining who has likely been affected how by the different amendments attached to the bill being sent to the floor. The report comes with an easy to browse table of amendments, too:

HR 2267 Frank Bill Amendments

Most interesting and plausibly relevant to our little world, imho, are provisions laid out in Rep. John Campbell’s (R-CA) amendment, which creates a “black list” of non-compliant operators. in my estimation, it seems designed to specifically shut out the likes of Tilt and Stars by pegging them as “bad actors” … unless every single one of us somehow agrees to stay hush and tell the government if asked, “Nope, never transfered any money. Play for free. Didn’t you see the commercials? Skill game. Even my hat says dot net!”

Gambling Compliance explains:

Amendment 8 also calls for the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) to maintain a list of “unlawful Internet gambling enterprises,” beginning within 120 days of the
enactment of the Frank bill, in order to prevent unregulated sites from continuing to operate in the US market.

Amendment 8 defines an ‘unlawful Internet gambling enterprise’ as:

Any person who, more than ten days after the date of the enactment of the legislation:

  • Violates any provision of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act;
  • Knowingly receives or transmits funds intended primarily for a person who violates the Act;
  • Knowingly assists in the conduct of an unlawful Internet gambling enterprise.

The FINCEN black-list must include:

  • All known Internet website addresses of the ‘unlawful’ enterprise.
  • The names of all known owners and operators of the enterprise.
  • Information identifying the financial agents and account numbers of the enterprise.

That third bullet might be the killer … with public records from payment processor investigations being problematic.

The language does still seem vague enough, however, to allow backroom payoffs wiggle room, particularly with online sites insisting they’ve never done anything wrong despite myriad problems with payment processors used for 10s of thousands of transactions between online sites and American poker players who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get money into or out of player accounts … you know, like you can do with every other business relying on American money transactions online.

In lieu of the above, if not shut out, it seems the biggest online poker sites in the world might be straddled with the burden of proof should they want to contest any non-favorable licensing interpretations in court … and that would likely require putting hundreds of millions of dollars and/or top executives’ freedoms at risk. Perhaps Uncle Sam learned a thing or two from all the poker on TV about forcing your opponent to make the difficult decisions …

Again, could be way off here, but even with aggressively positive press releases from the likes of Stars contending that as a super-legitimate operator they just LOVE the idea of a black list … strong means weak? bottom line is that even if everything about the future of online gambling in the US is totally fair and on the up-and-up, anyone who wants an American license is still gonna have to get in the queue!

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