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The Suite Blog >> iMEGA's Got a Bulging Vein by Way of the UIGEA

 

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September 30, 2009 - Is that a vein I see? Bulging from the forehead of the Interactive Media Entertainment...something or another...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah? Why yes, I think it is. Look out below, it's going to blow!

Okay, so let me first say that I appreciate what the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) is trying to do to help get online gambling regulated in the United States. Or perhaps I should say that I appreciate what iMEGA is doing to ensure internet rights, not to mention the growth and innovation of the internet itself. In case you didn't know, iMEGA is working on many other internet issues besides online gambling.

Now, whether or not I think what iMEGA is doing to liberate online gambling is effective or not is another matter. You see, iMEGA recently lost a US court appeal challenging the constitutionality of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), aka the US online gambling ban (hence the bulging vein I previously pointed out). Principally speaking, it was a good thing that iMEGA stood up to challenge the UIGEA. I mean, as Congressman Barney Frank so eloquently stated, "it is the stupidest law ever passed". And not only that. It is a highly flawed, biased and carved out law helping serve special interest groups. As iMEGA said in its court challenge, the UIGEA is vague, violates individual privacy rights and is contrary to U.S. treaty obligations.

But here's the rub. Even though most of us will agree this is a stupid law, to get a court to overturn it so close to its passing, not to mention the fact that most people know little about the efficacy and potential of online gambling regulation, is kind of lame if you ask me. In other words, I'm not so sure I agree with how iMEGA is using it's resources. Instead of challenging these rulings in the courtroom, they should be working on shifting public policy.

First off, let me disclaim that last statement. Really think I'm smart enough to come up with that? Those are actually the views (paraphrased) of attorney Gary Kaufman, who also went on to say that now is a great time to lobby Congress for repealing the UIGEA and replacing it with sound regulatory legislation, like that which Barney Frank has drawn up. Kaufman also thinks that a good argument for future debate should be focused on privacy and commerce on the internet.

So, instead of trying to rip apart the UIGEA, let's start talking about protecting people's rights and providing a regulated landscape in helping do so. I hope iMEGA is being sensitive to this shift and will be willing to change its own game plan of aggressive lawsuit dropping, to lobbying efforts and education. WOW! Now, that did come from me. Maybe good'ol Sweetie has a brain after all!

Originally published: September, 2009 | Categories: Gambling

 

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