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  1. #1
    The Buzz's Avatar
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    Default Good news, bad news for IMEGA

    IMEGA, which has challenged the lawfullness of the UIGEA, lost one battle but won another in court yesterday.

    The group, which had asked a US District Court judge to throw out the law, was given legal standing to challenge the law in appellate court, but didn't win complete victory, as the judge dismissed the group's challenge to the law.

    "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," (the judge) wrote. "But it is not the court's role to pass on the wisdom of a Congressional act or speculate as to its effectiveness."

    The law was legally enacted and does not violate the Constitution, she ruled in dismissing the association's challenge.
    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wi...,3735725.story

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    helpyou is offline Public Member
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    sorry What is meaning of IMEGA ad UIGEA ?
    where can I find the definition ?
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    CityGuard is offline Former GPWA Program Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by helpyou View Post
    sorry What is meaning of IMEGA ad UIGEA ?
    where can I find the definition ?
    UIGEA is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (the restriction passed in the United States at the end of September 2006)

    iMEGA is the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, an association formed after passage of the UIGEA for the purpose of opposing it
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    Hey folks,

    This is actually a pretty complex ruling. I've discussed it briefly with a gaming law expert, and will talking with him again on Monday after I've had a chance to research this further. His basic reaction (and I'll name after I've written the story -- and in the story for that matter) is that IMEGA won a major victory by being granted "standing." That means either the IMEGA has suffered injury, or has sufficient qualifications to get around the the injury requirement. What does this legal jargon mean? Essentially, IMEGA has the right to sue to overturn the UIGEA, and the right to appeal this judge's decision on the rest of the case. And there's the rub. This judge ruled in favor of the government on every other count.
    So the end result is that winning the standing issue keeps this lawsuit alive. But actually winning the case is a serious uphill battle.

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    Spearmaster is offline In Memoriam, 1964-2010
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    I would like to know which gaming law expert you talked to. The one I talked to is in full agreement with me that it was a defeat.

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    vinism's Avatar
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    Here's the news analysis piece I wrote after talking to Joe Kelly, a gambling law expert from Buffalo State College...

    News analysis: Judge's ruling stacks odds against iMEGA

    12 March 2008
    By Vin Narayanan

    U.S. District Court Judge Mary Cooper sent two very clear messages to the online gaming industry last week:


    1. The courts are not going to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) because the law is either ineffective or unwise.

    2. The iMEGA case has very little chance of overturning the UIGEA.

    The only glimmer of hope Cooper gave iMEGA was she granted it "standing" on certain issues.

    "Granting iMEGA standing is a major victory any way you look at it," said iMEGA attorney Eric Bernstein after the ruling came out. Buffalo State business law professor Joe Kelly agrees, saying, "Standing was a major victory, especially with the federal government winning on every other account."

    By granting standing, the court says iMEGA can claim injury by the UIGEA and has the right to appeal Cooper's ruling on the First Amendment issues raised in the case, Kelly explained.

    "But it's very much an uphill battle," Kelly added.

    The reason is that Cooper dismissed the iMEGA's First Amendment claims on the merits, and the rest of iMEGA's arguments on both standing and the merits.


    "(The) UIGEA does not have any adverse impact, much less a significant one, on the ability of the plaintiff and its members to express their views on Internet gambling," Cooper said in her ruling.

    Cooper also rejected the argument that gambling was a form of free speech.

    "The plaintiff has not identified, and the Court does not discern, any 'communicative element' inherent in the only conduct criminalized by UIGEA -- the taking of another's money," she wrote.

    The commercial speech aspects of iMEGA's case were similarly dismissed by Cooper.
    "The plaintiff's commercial speech claim also is without merit," Cooper wrote. "The acceptance of a financial transfer is not speech."

    "As the UIGEA does not impact expression, it does not come within the purview of the First Amendment," Cooper added.

    Cooper also ruled that iMEGA did not have standing to pursue claims that the UIGEA violated privacy rights. But even if it did, Cooper wrote, iMEGA would still lose, saying the laws iMEGA cited as precedents do not lend support to the idea that "non-speech related activities occurring over the Internet somehow intrudes on the right of privacy."

    iMEGA's WTO claims also fall short as "a matter of law," Cooper says, because private entities can not challenge laws on the basis that they violate Uruguay Round Agreements. That right, by law, falls under the sole province of the government.

    In dismissing iMEGA's claim that the UIGEA abrogated the rights of individual states to regulate online gaming, Cooper ruled "the regulation of interstate financial transfers -- an economic activity necessarily impacting interstate commerce -- would be a proper exercise of Congress's interstate commerce powers" and "Congress had a rational basis for concluding that the acceptance of Internet financial transfers for gambling purposes substantially affects interstate commerce."

    That means it was within Congress' powers to pass the UIGEA. And because Congress was within their rights to pass the law, challenging it as a law that doesn't work isn't going to fly in the court systems.

    "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 UIGEA, given its exceptions and conjectural enforcement problems, will be successful in accomplishing its desired ends," Cooper said in the conclusion to her ruling. "But it is not the Court's role to pass on the wisdom of a Congressional act or speculate as to its effectiveness. The Court has determined that the challenged statute was lawfully enacted and does not impermissibly intrude on the Constitution's guarantees."

    Perhaps the most intriguing part of Cooper's ruling came in a footnote, where she notes "UIGEA exempts purely financial entities from criminal liability...Financial businesses would only be subject to regulatory enforcement."

    In essence, that means the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve will be setting the punishment for non-compliance.

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    Spearmaster is offline In Memoriam, 1964-2010
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    LOL... so funny, Joe was my source as well. In fact he sent me your article today.

    He agreed with me that it was a defeat. But he agreed with you that the "standing" was a major victory.

    Personally, I think iMEGA should just hire Joe Kelly instead.

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    vinism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spearmaster View Post
    LOL... so funny, Joe was my source as well. In fact he sent me your article today.
    I love it. That's hilarious. I think iMEGA would be better off with Joe as well. But one interesting thing that Joe told me that didn't make the story was he thought the legal work performed by attorneys for both iMEGA and the government was of very high quality.

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    Spearmaster is offline In Memoriam, 1964-2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinism View Post
    I love it. That's hilarious. I think iMEGA would be better off with Joe as well. But one interesting thing that Joe told me that didn't make the story was he thought the legal work performed by attorneys for both iMEGA and the government was of very high quality.
    That's interesting. I told him I thought the iMEGA legal team was poorly prepared. I suppose I could go back and read the filing... but the nature of the rulings themselves (no standing, out of jurisdiction etc.) tell me they were either inexperienced or just plain short of ammo.

    Now, if iMEGA turn to experts with long legal expertise in the arena, such as Joe, or Frank Catania, for example, they might just have a chance.

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    vinism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spearmaster View Post
    That's interesting. I told him I thought the iMEGA legal team was poorly prepared. I suppose I could go back and read the filing... but the nature of the rulings themselves (no standing, out of jurisdiction etc.) tell me they were either inexperienced or just plain short of ammo.

    Now, if iMEGA turn to experts with long legal expertise in the arena, such as Joe, or Frank Catania, for example, they might just have a chance.
    Of the two scenarios, I lean toward iMEGA being short of ammo more than anything else. Overturning the UIGEA in court is going to be tough, especially when the judge tells you that you would have lost on the merits even if you won on standing in several places. But I'm 100% with you on bringing in either Joe or Frank Catania. They're the best in the business. But even with them, I suspect this case is a bit of long shot.

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