The US Department of Justice has filed a 24 page counter brief against the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA); the counter brief is a response aimed at iMEGA’s decision to file an appeal for their lawsuit that was dismissed in early March. The original iMEGA lawsuit contended that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was unconstitutional and criminalizing financial transactions can be deemed illegal in certain situations.
The Department of Justice used the 24 page briefing to defend the UIGEA and attack the stance of iMEGA’s lawsuit. They claim that the original suit filed by iMEGA did not define the issue of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act properly and so it should not be allowed in an appeal. Furthermore, the Department of Justice’s brief labels iMEGA as a “trade association representing online gambling businesses” and argues that they shouldn’t be allowed to represent individual gamblers.
iMEGA Chairman Joe Brennan Jr. had an opportunity to go over the recent brief and believes that it won’t affect his case as he said, “We’re very confident today after reviewing the government’s brief that we are on track for having this law overturned. We’re looking forward to the opportunity, once this fatally flawed law has been dealt with, to work toward a reasonable, common sense approach by our country to Internet gaming – one that, above all, affirms our rights and their place in the online world.”
iMEGA’s lawsuit was dismissed by Judge Mary L. Cooper in New Jersey’s U.S. District Court after she ruled that the US government did not violate any part of the Constitution by enacting the UIGEA.However, Cooper’s ruling also gave iMEGA the right to keep challenging the legality of the UIGEA.
Brennan Jr. managed to find the positive in the ruling by saying, “Judge Cooper’s ruling holds that, even with the passage of UIGEA, online gambling is only illegal in states where a statute specifically says it is. Judge Cooper found that banks, credit card companies, and other payment system instruments are exempt from criminal sanctions under UIGEA, significantly undercutting UIGEA’s enforcement mechanism. Her ruling echoes the growing consensus of opinion that UIGEA is a fundamentally flawed statute.”
The Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association is a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. The group was formed in 2007 as a way to promote the growth of the Internet and to defend the rights of those who use it. iMEGA has also been heavily involved with the famous domain name seizure case where Kentucky Governor Steve Beashar seized 141 gambling and poker site domain names because he said they violate his state’s laws.