Under the bill that received U.S. congressional approval early Saturday, financial institutions will be restricted from transferring funds from U.S. customers to online gambling sites. The House of Representatives and Senate approved the measure and sent it to President George W. Bush to sign into law.
While full details are yet unknown, the new legislation obliges financial institutions to police and restrict transactions to and from gambling operators. Non complying financial institutions may be fined and taken to court. The bill will not target players but will at the very least, make it difficult for Americans to deposit cash in online gambling accounts.
The U.S. is moving in an opposite direction concerning this issue compared to the rest of the world. The United Kingdom recently moved to tax and regulate online gambling sites, and the European Union has made it clear that it considers online gambling a product that should be allowed to be freely traded.