There is a group representing some 5,000 small banks which is opposed to a tool the lawmakers hope to use against online gambling, this posing a big challenge to what is widely viewed as the government's clearest and best chance at cracking down on the rise in online gambling.
The group, the Independent Community Bankers of Americas, objects to the proposal that is slowly working its way through Congress that would eventually require financial institutions to place a block on payments between online casinos and U.S. residents.
Some of the groups represented by the ICBA are New York's Metropolitan National Bank and the Colorado First National Bank of Las Animas fear that partly the enforcement of these types of bank transactions will be nearly impossible to stop due to the way transactions are processed.
The issue is that electronic transfers that are used by many gamblers move money between their bank accounts and the offshore casinos. These transfers which must use a third party company, are the obviously the flow of life in the online gambling industry.
The group also claims that unlike most credit card payments, electronic transfers are not coded in the systems to display what the business at the receiving end will use the money for, whether they are an online casino or a local handmade soap shop in Spain.
The discussion is that to fix the problem would require massive costs, including reworking systems and allowing banks to identify transactions with online casinos in the midst of millions of other transactions at the same time. It would take new programming and a huge effort on the part of banks all over the country.
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