The European Poker Tour
UFA, short for Unites Federal Credit Union, has become the latest vehicle of credit unions. The association manages a wide range of financial transactions involving its members, such as buying, selling, renting, and refinancing, among other financial opportunities. The association has come under increasing fire from the credit card companies over the years, which is a result of the growth of prepaid cards. A major component of the UFA structure is the credit card members who can benefit from the low-interest rate savings through the discounts offered on purchases made with their cards. In a recent analysis by analysts at Morningstar, the UFA was found to be the fourth best credit card offer in the United States, out pacing the offers of Citibank, Chase, and Wells Fargo.
UFA is controlled by the Union Federal Bank of Russia. The Union has also formed several financial coordinating councils and supervisory commissions including the European Partipiance Agency and the Russian Department of Economic Development. The association has also come under fire from several European Union members that do not accept the criteria set forth by the Union for membership. The scrutiny has come about due to the refusal of the UFA to join the European Union and its attempts to undercut the benefits offered to its card members by allowing non-compliance with Union accounting standards.
The association is under fire from cardholders in the European countries that do not accept the UFA standards, as well. In a recent analysis by analysts from Morningstar, the failure of the UFA to join the European Union caused a decline in cardholders to use the card of a participating bank to make purchases. In addition, the decrease in cardholders to banks who accept the UFA standards causes a slight decrease in cardholder funds. The overall effect to the credit card industry of the UFA decision has been a net loss of funds and customers.
The Association has attempted to remedy the situation by offering incentives to banks that do accept the UFA. This has resulted in the acceptance of the Union’s standards by a significant number of cardholders. Furthermore, UFA cards that previously could not be accepted for use in Europe have been approved to be used in the European Union. The level of acceptance of UFA by credit card companies has been an obstacle for credit card issuers to accept Union credit and debit cards. If the UFA expands its coverage to all countries, the level of acceptance of cards throughout the EU would increase.
The Union’s efforts at establishing a uniform rule for all casinos and sportbooks is also having some limited success. Several jurisdictions are fighting back against attempts by the Union to impose uniform laws across the board. For example, the UK and Ireland filed a legal challenge against the UEA’s attempt to regulate sports betting across the EU. Italy and Austria filed similar complaints against the Commission’s attempts to introduce unified credit card rules. The EC has yet to rule on these complaints. In addition, the EC failed to get the required consensus to include Union laws regulating sportbooks within its remit.
For now, card players will have to search out alternative venues for gaming. However, it appears that the UFA may soon face difficulties overcoming the technological obstacles posed by Union regulation. Either way, the EC will continue to pursue its efforts to bring uniformity to the gambling industry. Whether or not this approach will succeed remains to be seen.