New hearing date set for case against UIGEA

Mt. Rushmore

Just a few days short of the first hearing date set for the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association's case against the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the hearing has been postponed to Sept. 26.

According to iMEGA, it, along with the defendants - the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors - all agreed to the date change.

The defendants had already been granted an extension for the deadline to respond to the lawsuit filed by iMEGA in June. Now the hearing has been set back as well.

The initial Sept. 4 court date, however, did not include oral arguments. With the new date, Judge Mary L. Cooper will now hear oral arguments on iMEGA's petition for a temporary restraining order against the government's implementation of the UIGEA until judgment has been made in the lawsuit.

According to Joe Brennan Jr., iMEGA founder, the restraining order was meant to prevent the government from moving further forward with implementing the UIGEA during the grace period before it responds to the lawsuit, as well as to force the U.S. Department of Justice to respond faster to the lawsuit.

The government will also have a chance to give its oral argument for dismissal of the case during the new hearing.

"Given the court's willingness to hear oral arguments, iMEGA feels that a dismissal would be unlikely," the organization says on its Web site.

iMEGA also noted that the extension gives its legal team the opportunity to submit a brief in response to the U.S. government's opposition to the restraining order and the motion to dismiss.

The intent of iMEGA's lawsuit is to encourage regulation and taxation of Internet gaming as an alternative to an outright ban on the industry.

According to its site, iMEGA feels that the UIGEA , if allowed to stand, would create a bad precedent that would chill innovation and the growth of e-commerce by U.S. firms, causing the flow of those types of industries and jobs out of the United States.

"In the case of the UIGEA, iMEGA believes that the embrace of readily available, commercial technology can help remedy the social ills (underage and compulsive gambling, as well as fraud) far better than this law, which, ironically, would likely exacerbate problem gambling," iMEGA said.

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