US Banks Warn Online Gambling Not Permitted

Published Tuesday, September 01, 2009 -

December 1st of this year may see a new era of enforcement of the USA's prohibition on online gambling. Reports from various sources indicate that there is in general a lack of understanding of the laws pertaining to online gambling in the States. This has lead in the past to an over the top reaction to possible repercussions on the financial institutions in the USA and a strict blocking of transactions from online gambling operators policy.

The letters sent out by the Nevada State Bank stated: "In compliance with the U.S. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, we are required to notify you that you are prohibited from processing transactions derived from Internet bets or wagers where such bet or wager is unlawful under any applicable Federal or State law." People who received this letter are of course a little confused as they are still not really sure if playing internet poker is illegal or not.

The act only states that it is illegal to send deposits from banks to internet gambling sites and does not include the withdrawals made from the sites to the banks. Again this is a bit of mystery for the average player who just wants to have a good night of online poker fun.

Earlier this year at least two state lotteries which are exempt from federal anti-gambling laws, lodged complaints about certain banks blocking their transactions. An over zealous move by the banks in order to be compliant.

California Bank & Trust view seems a little cloudy too, advising customers that it "will not process transactions derived from Internet bets or wagers." More letters and warnings should be expected, because these banks belong to the Zions Bancorporation, a holding company based in Salt Lake City that controls eight banks in eight states, namely Nevada, California, Arizona, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Utah. The debate continues but as we have seen recently the USA Department of Justice is still taking the stance that what is the law now even though ambiguous is still the law and they will keep the pressure on those who attempt to violate it.

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