iMEGA Challenges UIGEA

Published Thursday, April 16, 2009 -

The US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has notified lawyers for the Interactive Media & Gaming Association (iMEGA) and the US Department of Justice that the Courts are set to consider iMEGA's challenge to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

In a motion the Department opposes, Marcia M. Waldron, clerk for the appeals court, wrote that iMEGA v. Attorney-General USA, et al (Case Number 08-1981) has been tentatively listed on the merits for Monday, July 6 2009, in Philadelphia, PA. Preliminary arguments were originally scheduled for April, but the Court has since sent iMEGA's motion to supplement the record with news about the blocking of state lottery payments to its Merit Panel for a decision.

A "judgement on the merits" refers to a judgment, decision or ruling based upon the facts presented in evidence and the law applied to that evidence. A judge decides a case "on the merits" when he/she bases the decision on the fundamental issues and considers technical and procedural defenses as either inconsequential or overcome.

The letter from the Court stated, "The panel will determine whether there will be oral argument, and if so, the amount of time alloted for each side. No later than one week prior to the disposition date will you be advised whether oral argument will be required, the amount of time allocated by the panel, and the specific date on which the argument will be scheduled."

This may be significant as iMEGA submitted a motion back in March to have the Court record in the case supplemented with news of "over-blocking" of state lottery transactions in New Hampshire and North Dakota by credit card companies.

It was clear there was an exemption to the rules at that time, even though the credit card companies decided to change the transaction codes for the lotteries from "government" to one designating online gambling, preventing the exempted transactions from being processed.

Joe Brennan Jr., iMEGA's chairman said, "We're very happy the Court is moving forward on this, and we're confident the Court will consider the real-world effect of the law, regardless of the Department of Justice's opposition,"

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