The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association has opposed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act since its creation, and on Monday the latest development in iMEGAâ€™s legal assault upon the UIGEA occurred when iMEGA filed their brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The UIGEA does not actually outlaw online gambling, what it does is make it illegal for banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions to process financial transactions between Americans and illegal online gambling sites. By doing this the UIGEA hopes to make it impossible for the American public to gamble online by cutting off the financing of their accounts. The UIGEA is severely flawed, as has been pointed out repeated by groups like and the Poker Players Alliance, and also by government officials at a meeting before Congress.
In its slew of arguments against the UIGEA, iMEGAâ€™s two main points are that the UIGEA is unconstitutional due to infringing on freedom of speech and invasion of privacy. These are just two of the many arguments iMEGA has against the UIGEA.
iMEGAâ€™s first challenge against the UIGEA came up before U.S. District Judge Mary Cooper back in March, but Judge Cooper dismissed the challenge, although she gave a little bit of hope when she said that iMEGA did have the legal standing to challenge the UIGEA. Since then iMEGA has made their appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals, where iMEGA has just filed their brief.
The biggest weakness of the UIGEA is its weakness, which was pointed out once again by Joe Brennan Jr., chairman and CEO of iMEGA. â€œThis is a very simple argument on which we ask the court to overturn this law,â€ Brennan said.
Brennan continued by saying, â€œUIGEA should be void for vagueness, in that Congress has not defined what an unlawful internet gambling transaction is, as they are required. Congress cannot delegate that necessary determination to as to what is lawful or unlawful to U.S. banks and credit card companies.â€
The Department of the Treasury is in charge of drafting the regulations for the UIGEA, but they have testified before Congress that the Treasury Department was not capable of determining what a lawful internet transaction was and what an unlawful internet transaction was.
Brennan would also say, â€œBecause Congress refused to draft necessary standards, the law is so inherently flawed as to make it totally vague and unenforceable, and we are confident that the court will overturn it.â€
iMEGA says in their appeal that the court was wrong in considering online gambling the same as illegal activity and that the court was also wrong by saying iMEGA wasnâ€™t allowed to assert first amendment rights of private citizens who may gamble online.
The challenges are not going to go away for the UIGEA, and in all likelihood one of them will topple the UIGEA and bring joy to all those that believe in the rights of Americans to make their own choices.
Read about some other challenges to the UIGEA at