|Internet gambling business owner Jay Cohen is contemplating what to do next after a U.S. appeals court Tuesday upheld a lower court's decision that his online gambling business violates U.S. law.|
Cohen said his options range from a rehearing befire the New York 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, whose three-judge panel upheld the lower court ruling, to an "en banc" hearing featuring all of the appeals court judges, to a U.S. Supreme Court appeal. The ruling is one of the first U.S. court decisions upholding the illegality of Internet gambling, an issue that remains an object of contentious debate in the U.S. Congress.
Cohen noted that both sides offered dense briefs to support their cases, but that "not much (was said) about it in the court's opinion." Cohen's attorneys unsuccessfully argued that the conviction was unjustified because his site only offered information that allowed WSE to place its own bets from customer accounts in Antigua, where the company is based. Online gambling prohibitions also are a hot issue on Capital Hill.
Rep. robert Goodlatte, R-VA., says that he is planning on reintroducing gambling legislation that failed to clear the House of Representatives last year. Rep. John LaFalce, D-N.Y., last week introduced a bill that would outlaw the use of U.S. banks' credit and checks. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., also has been an outspoken opponent of Internet gambling, though none of his attempts to pass a bill have resulted in a law. One of the issues that contains to dog most Internet gambling bills introduced in Congress is the insistence of Congress members such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and others, to include major carve-outs, such as closed-loop betting on fantasy sports, dog and horse racing and jai-alai.