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Online Casino News - May, 2008

iMEGA and U.S. DOJ Ready for Next Round in Gambling Case



  Seed Newsvine

by Mira Patel, News Staff Writer

May 21, 2008

You may recall that soon after the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) was one of the first organized parties to stand up for the rights of U.S. online gamblers and challenge the UIGEA in a court of Law. And while that challenge continues on to this day, the U.S. Justice Department will be adding another attorney to its defense arsenal with the appointment of Nicholas John Bagley.

Thus far, iMEGA's case has been an uphill battle, although getting legal standing to litigate its case against the government in the first place was a major success in itself. Having recently filed a Notice of Appeal with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, iMEGA is expanding its own arsenal of weapons to prove how the UIGEA regulation protocols are ineffective, thereby giving grounds for overturning the bill and paving a road for the Internet Gambling Regulation Enforcement Act (IGREA), which is quickly gaining needed support and more U.S. Congress co-sponsors.

Even though Judge Mary Cooper effectively ruled in favor of the government, stating it has the "right" to pass the UIGEA, she spent nearly half of her written decision establishing the standing of iMEGA, which U.S. defense lawyers tried to dismiss. Judge Cooper further recognized the failings of the UIGEA, stating its criminal penalties did not apply to banking institutions and financial transaction companies. In other words, when iMEGA has their day in court with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, their case will certainly have more credibility.

Also in iMEGA's favor is the fact that the Philadelphia appellate court (where the appeal will be handled), has a reputation for protecting the rights of speech and expression - a major point of iMEGA's case against the UIGEA, and something which they could have more effectively argued in their initial case. With the inadequacies of the UIGEA now more fully in the spotlight - especially thanks to comments made by the American Banking Association - iMEGA is very hopeful it's case to overturn the UIGEA will be a win in the name of American's digital civil rights.



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