U.S. gets extension in UIGEA case

A deadline extension for the U.S. government will leave online gamblers waiting a little longer to find out how the U.S. will respond to a lawsuit against the UIGEA.

The U.S. Department of Justice was granted an extension for the deadline to respond to the lawsuit filed by Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association.

iMEGA, a media entertainment group and gaming association, is challenging the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act on the basis that it violates citizens' constitutional rights.

The group's stance is that Americans have the right to live how they want to and be free from the government imposing public morality in the privacy of one's home.

After the complaint against the UIGEA was filed June 5, the Department of Justice had until Aug. 17 to respond. Now a U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey has extended the deadline to Sept. 4.

That deadline is the same day the initial hearing is set for the case in front of Judge Mary Cooper as well. The extension of the response deadline shouldn't affect the hearing date. However, the U.S. Department of Justice may still request an extension for the hearing date as well.

iMEGA has also filed a restraining order to temporarily stop the enforcement of the UIGEA until the court has a chance to rule on 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 intent of iMEGA's lawsuit is to encourage regulation and taxation of Internet gaming as an alternative to an outright ban on the industry.

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