Music society sings the blues over UIGEA

Music society sings the blues over UIGEA

On June 1st, the postponed regulations supporting the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act come into effect, obliging financial institutions to block financial transactions with ill-defined "illegal" offshore gambling sites. Yet already the industry is seeing examples of the much-warned about 'overblocking' caused by the act's lack of precise definition, coupled with the low experience levels among financial bodies expected to enforce the legislation.

There have been several reports of payments to state lotteries being inaccurately blocked, but the latest issue comes from an even more unlikely source - a musical society in Florida!

Members of the South Florida Blues Society were warned by the society this week that Internet transactions had been 'inadvertently' delayed due to a block by e-cash processor PayPal, which appeared to have mistakenly classified the society as an illegal online gambling entity.

The Society, which has been legally raising funds for the past decade through prize-based raffle tickets on its website, was understandably upset, because all sales from the site, including music and promotional clothing and merchandise and even membership subscriptions are impacted by the PayPal block as well.

SFBS President Blues Bobby told his members that only cheques mailed to the club can be processed, because Visa and Mastercard bans also ban card transactions with anything even suspected of having Internet gambling connections.