The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA) has announced that its legal team has been asked by the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to provide notice of their availability in April 2009 for oral arguments in their challenge to a Federal law targeting the Internet gambling industry.
The court provided a list of possible dates to Eric Bernstein, lead counsel for iMEGA, and to the US Department of Justice, the lead defendant in the suit. The suit (iMEGA v. Keisler, et al) also names the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Reserve as defendants (see previous InfoPowa reports).
iMEGA’s suit challenges the constitutionality of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), which prohibits US financial institutions from processing transactions between online gambling sites and US players, while shifting the determination, burden and cost of enforcement onto the financial institutions.
“We’re very happy the Court is moving forward to schedule oral arguments,” said Joe Brennan Jr., iMEGA chairman. “We’re confident we have a strong suit, and it will be difficult for the Department of Justice to defend UIGEA, because it is so fatally flawed.”
iMEGA’s attorneys argue that UIGEA should be ‘void for vagueness’, and that Congress erred when it declined to defined what “unlawful Internet gambling” is, as they are required. iMEGA also argues that Congress cannot delegate that necessary determination as to what is ‘lawful’ or ‘unlawful’ to US banks and credit card companies. The Department of Treasury, which crafted the regulations for UIGEA, testified last year before Congress that they themselves could not make the necessary determination.
iMEGA’s appeal follows a ruling by Judge Mary Cooper (US District Court, Trenton) that established iMEGA’s associational standing to challenge UIGEA on the behalf of its members and the Internet gambling industry, but was dismissed by Judge Cooper without considering the constitutional issues raised in iMEGA’s challenge.
iMEGA is a Washington DC-based, not-for-profit corporation which was founded in 2007 as a professional association dedicated to the continued growth and innovation of the Internet. The organisation maintains that growth and innovation is possible by continued adherence to the founding principles of the world’s online communities, and that openness and freedom will enable the Internet to become a means for citizens in national and global economies to raise standards for all who are touched by it