The Federal Reserve Board and Department of the Treasury have released a joint final rule to implement the UIGEA which has languished since 2006 due to the ambiguity of the original law. The rule will require all of the financial institutions and payment processors to stop any payments connected with unlawful internet gambling by establishing policies to prevent these type of transactions by Dec. 1, 2009.

The biggest problem that opponents of the bill rightly point out is that there still is no clarity in the definition of what constitutes “unlawful” internet gambling since lotterieshorse racing and certain other gambling is allowed online in many states. Consensus among analysts is that banks will just stop all gambling transactions rather than try to sort out which is which. That approach will greatly damage the legal markets that the law was supposedly trying to protect.