The online gambling industry had plenty to be thankful for last week. In a Friday afternoon statement, both the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve (again!) postponed the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) three years after it was initially passed.
The law, which would ban U.S. banks and financial institutions from accepting payments to illegal gambling websites, was set to take effect Tuesday. With this latest announcement, Democrats like Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will have another six-month window to repeal UIGEA, a bill so popular that it passed with a 224-vote margin in the House. "This will give us a chance to act in an unhurried manner on my legislation... to undo this ill-advised law," Rep. Frank told reporters last week.
But not everyone is betting that Frank's hand is a winning one. UIGEA had the support of 48 state attorneys general, every major sports association, the country's pro-family groups--and, as of September, the federal courts. Two months ago, a Pennsylvania appellate court ruled against "offshore bookies" who claimed the law was an invasion of privacy.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the Executive Branch has tried to trump Congress. Under President Obama, the nation seems to be moving toward a dangerous brand of a la carte government, where agencies that disagree with our laws simply don't enforce them. The Justice Department has been the biggest offender, even going so far as to ignore obscenity laws and funding ACORN in direct defiance of Congress.