In America, the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) has filed a brief with the US Court of Appeals, Third Judicial Circuit, in Philadelphia challenging the constitutionality of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
The non-profit Washington, DC-based group filed iMEGA versus Keisler, et al, on Monday following an earlier ruling by Judge Mary Cooper from the US District Court in Trenton, New Jersey, that established the group’s associational standing to challenge UIGEA on the behalf of its members and the Internet gambling industry. However, Judge Cooper dismissed its earlier action without considering the Constitutional issues raised in iMEGA's challenge.
'This is a very simple argument on which we ask the Court to overturn this law,' said Joe Brennan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for iMEGA.
'UIGEA 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 as to what is 'lawful' or 'unlawful' to US banks and credit card companies. The Department of Treasury, which has been tasked with drafting the regulations for UIGEA, has testified before Congress that they themselves cannot make that determination. Because 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.'
UIGEA was passed in 2006 and prohibits US financial institutions from processing transactions between online gambling sites and US-based players. In addition, it shifts the determination, burden and cost of enforcement onto financial institutions.