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Online Gambling Ban Hits More Than Casinos as Blues Site Blocked

Attempts to block payments to online gambling sites are affecting more than Internet casinos, as a Florida blues music fan club finds transactions unavailable.

Play Now at Las Vegas USA Casino! The South Florida Blues Society informed members in an e-mail today that Internet transactions for the group had been inadvertently blocked as Paypal listed the site as online gambling. The attempts by payment processors to meet the looming stipulations of the UIGEA has caused chaos for legitimate sites more so than the targeted online casinos.

SFBS says it has raised money legally for the organization for almost ten years by selling raffle tickets on its website, with winners getting a trip on the Blues Cruise through the Caribbean. But now, all sales from the site, including music, shirts, and other merchandise, are denied by Paypal, which has identified the music fan club as a gambling organization.

Even memberships to the society are blocked from payment, as the prediction by financial experts of the overblocking likely to occur when financial institutions are made responsible for UIGEA enforcement is realized. And SFBS President Blues Bobby writes that only checks mailed to the club will presently be processed, as Visa and Mastercard also look to screen sites for Internet gambling connections.

Treasury hearings into the implementation of the UIGEA were dominated by representatives of banks, credit card companies, and even experts from the Federal Reserve testifying that the Internet gambling block would disrupt normal business. State lotteries and horse racing sites have already been categorized as illegal gaming sites, despite wording in the law specifically exempting them.

Now, sites with only the most legitimate and tenuous connections to gambling are finding their commerce blocked by payment processors worried of running afoul of the vague law. If merchandise by a blues music site can be disrupted, then almost any Internet site is in danger of being caught up in the online gambling ban.

Published on March 26, 2010 by JoshuaMcCarthy

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