Read 'The letter' purported to be authored by Jon Kyl

A letter purported to have been written by Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, and circulated throughout Congress last week is circulating on various Internet sites.

Interactive Gaming News, the online trade publication, first published the letter in its entirety last week. The letter celebrates wiping $7 billion off the London Stock Exchange and requests that President Bush, for whom it is addressed, take measures to better enforce the current i-gaming law in the name of ‘family values’.

IGN implied that Kyl had been ‘circulating the letter’ throughout Congress but stopped short of suggesting it was actually sent to President Bush. However, the letter was addressed to President George W. Bush.

IGN further reported that last Thursday Kyl began circulating among Senators a letter to President Bush praising him for his protection of family values, and urging him to act immediately in ensuring that the forthcoming regulations for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) are as stringent as possible.

The banking sector, which was adversely affected by the new legislation, is rumoured to have taken a keen interest in this letter.

One has to question however, what kind of person would write a letter of such strong condemnation, and yet not put his signature to it. A considerably gutless act from someone who does not want to be held accountable for their actions, which in effect could be seen as just a selfish act to take away the rights of US citizens to spend their money on harmless leisure pursuits of their choice.

Copy of letter;
March 15, 2007

President George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

On behalf of the millions of families represented by our organizations, we thank you for
signing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 into law. The immediate impact of this legislation on offshore operators was overwhelming: online gambling businesses listed on the London stock exchange lost over $7 billion in market capitalization in one day after the bill was passed by Congress. However, the law delegated critical implementation details to the Executive branch, so we once again respectfully request your continued leadership on this very important issue affecting countless families across the nation.

Any progress made over the last several months may evaporate if immediate action is not
taken to ensure strong and effective implementing regulations. The House Financial Services Committee Report explained, “The legislation contemplates a mechanism whereby banks and other financial service providers will be provided with the identity of specific Internet gambling bank accounts to which payments are to be prohibited.” In other words, the Federal government needs to provide banks with lists of unlawful Internet gambling businesses.

As we noted in our letter dated October 30 of last year, the best blocking procedures vary by the type of payment system. For instance, credit cards code their merchant accounts by type of business, so they can block certain codes. Internet gambling businesses may be self-identified to the credit card companies, or identified by customers or law enforcement. Other payment systems such as debits from checking accounts do not code transaction types, so they would rely almost exclusively on a government-provided list of prohibited recipients. We renew our request that you ensure that law enforcement and regulatory personnel commit the resources needed to identify illegal Internet gambling businesses and give the new law the teeth that Congress intended it to have. This does not require a large commitment: Internet gambling companies are very public about their activities (including their funding mechanisms) because they seek a large customer base. A small commitment of government resources can shut down or interrupt the vast majority of illegal Internet gambling in this nation.

Your continued leadership on this important issue is greatly needed at this time, and time is of the essence. Proposed regulations may be released in the next few weeks, and weak regulations will embolden the Internet gambling industry to come roaring back onto U.S. shores. Only through strong regulations can the intent of the law be enforced. Thank you for your consideration of this issue and your continued defense of the rule of law.

Sincerely,

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