The Bush administration is spending its last weeks in power to push through a controversial law that seeks to outlaw Internet gambling.
Democrats have asked the administration to postpone the move because it will tie the hands of the new administration, burden the financial services industry at a time of economic crisis. The White House has denied that it is rushing the rules though and claims they are all going through the normal processes.
The rule was passed by Congress in 2006 when Senate Republicans, pushed by then-Majority Leader Bill Frist, attached it to an unrelated port security bill. It prevents financial institutions from accepting payments from credit cards, checks or electronic fund transfers to settle online wagers.
However the law has no clear definition of Internet gambling and is confusing for banks and credit unions to enforce.
Jeffrey Sandman, spokesman for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, which represents online gambling groups said that it was irresponsible for the Bush administration to rush through a fundamentally flawed regulation that even representatives of the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve have stated on record is unworkable. X