It appears from the latest development in the case that iMEGA is pursuing against the US government and its Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that the Department of Justice is reluctant to expose the practical shortcomings of the Act.
True to the prior warnings of financial, political and legal experts, the financial institutions charged with enforcing the notoriously imprecise law have started blocking financial transactions for gambling that are actually exempt from the legalization, leading to problems with at least two state lotteries.
This week iMEGA disclosed on its website that it wished to bring these shortcomings to the attention of the court as relevant to its case against the UIGEA, and accordingly filed a motion to do this. Instead of supporting the addition to the court record of clearly relevant material, the Department of Justice has sought to suppress the information by opposing iMEGA's motion.
Nicholas Bagley, lead attorney for the US DoJ, wrote: “This material was not before the district court…and is not germane to iMEGA’s facial constitutional challenge to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Because this is not an “exceptional cas[e]” that would warrant supplementing the district court record…the government opposes the motion to supplement.”
Joe Brennan Jr., iMEGA’s chairman retorts: “The [UIGEA] regulations didn’t exist two years ago when this was brought to the district court. The regulations did not go into effect until January 19, 2009, more than two years after they were due, and two years after we filed in district court. Should the government get credit for dragging its feet on this?”
“Now you see the negative effect this law was destined to have,” Brennan said. “It has led to over-blocking, even of transactions, like state lotteries and horse racing, that have been given specific exemptions by this law. I know that the DoJ doesn’t like to lose, but to suggest that this is not ‘germane’ to the case – how the law actually works in the real world – is simply ridiculous."