Congresswoman Shelley Berkley released the following statement in response to new regulations issued by the Treasury Department that are designed to block the processing of payments involving Internet gaming. The new rules have drawn the opposition of banks and other financial service providers concerned about having to police customer transactions for payments to on-line gaming sites at a time when the economy is in crisis. Berkley has been a critic of the regulations since they were first proposed and has worked to try and block their implementation.
"The clock is ticking on President Bush's prohibitionist crusade against Internet gaming and that is clearly why these flawed regulations are being forced on the financial services industry at the very last minute. This ban was slipped into a port security bill in the middle of the night with no debate, and it comes as no surprise that the Bush administration and its allies would use the same backdoor tactics to implement these new rules. The NFL and other special interests behind this anti-gaming push even planted their own lobbyist on the inside to get these regulations in place before January," said Berkley.
"I agree when America's financial services sector says that these rules place an unfair burden on banks and other businesses that will now be forced to play the role of law enforcement. Instead of making the situation better, these regulations will only create chaos, huge headaches and high costs for all those involved. I am appalled that at a time when our nation faces the worst economic crisis we have seen in 70 years, President Bush remains obsessed with a regulation that will only harm the financial services sector. And finally, there is simply no proof that if these new rules are allowed to take effect that it will stop even one bet from being placed over the Internet," Berkley said.