US District Court for the District of New Jersey, Judge Mary L Cooper dismissed the case brought by Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA) that was challenging the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that was passed in October of 2006.
Judge Cooper did grant iMEGA the standing to pursue a challenge of the UIGEA. Even though the case was dismissed, iMEGA attorney, Eric M. Bernstein, Esq., said on the iMEGA website,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Granting iMEGA standing is a major victory any way you look at it. Judge CooperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ruling holds that, even with the passage of UIGEA, online gambling is only illegal in states where a statute specifically says it is.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The major argument by the Department of Justice was that iMEGA did not have any standing to challenge the UIGEA because it was properly passed by Congress and since the enforcement of the UIGEA had not yet been implemented, iMEGA had no grounds to dispute the law in court.
Joe Brennan Jr., the chairman of iMEGA added, Ã¢â‚¬Å“iMEGA is very pleased that the Court recognized our standing and the weaknesses in UIGEA. Judge Cooper found that banks, credit card companies and other payment system instruments are exempt from criminal sanctions under UIGEA, significantly undercutting UIGEAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s enforcement mechanism. Her ruling echoes the growing consensus of opinion that UIGEA is a fundamentally flawed statute.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Judge Mary Cooper stopped short of getting involved in whether the law should have been passed or not and in part of her decision wrote:
“The plaintiff’s claims express a fundamental disagreement with Congress’s judgment that Internet gambling should be controlled legislatively, and pose questions as to whether (the law) … will be successful in accomplishing its desired ends. But it is not the court’s role to pass on the wisdom of a congressional act or speculate as to its effectiveness.”
iMEGA plans to appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
You can read the whole ruling here, courtesy of iMEGA. (pdf form)
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