Critical Days at US CourtPublished September 23, 2007 by OCR Editor
The US government and the opponents of the ban on online gambling will meet in court on September 26. These are the points that the sides will be making in front of judge Cooper in New Jersey.
Three initialisms are on every American gambler's mind these days. In fact, they are on every gambler's mind anywhere, as they ought to be. UIGEA, iMEGA and TRO. While the first, which stands for Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, has been around for about a full year, introducing the ongoing ban on online gambling, the second, which stands for Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, is a more recent group that is taking legal measures in trying to combat the ban.
Recently, iMEGA has requested a Temporary Restraining Order, (TRO, the third initials) in a lawsuit filed to the court. The lawsuit was filed in July against the United States Department of Justice. On the table - Americans' first amendment rights.
These days, on several occasions, the USDJ is expected to provide its response to the lawsuit. Meanwhile the ban was extended and the law remains in effect. The original response filled 46 pages, claiming several points, which are expected to serve also as the defense line in the upcoming September 26 court date at the New Jersey District Court.
On this date both sides will appear in front of Honorable Judge Mary L. Cooper and give their oral defense. The points that will be made by the government are the following:
- The plaintiff, the USDJ claims, lacks standing to challenge the UIGEA under the first amendment, namely because it has not suffered personal losses and cannot base standing on rank speculation about the economic losses of third parties.
- Furthermore, the UIGEA is not, so claims the USDJ, a content-based restriction of speech, therefore is not under scrutiny under the first amendment.
- As no member of iMEGA is currently being persecuted, the case is unripe, premature and irrelevant.
- As for the challenge currently being taken in the courts of the World Trade Organization, with Antigua challenging the protectionist policy by the US, the defense claims that the plaintiff simply lacks standing to challenge any alleged inconsistencies with the WTO decision.
Even if the case be dismissed by the court, it might become relevant in the future. Though no one expects the ground to shake when the case comes to the court again this week, September 26 might be remembered as a landmark in the fight to bring online gambling back to Americans.