U.S. government responds to iMEGA

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It waited until the last possible day but the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the two other defendants (the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve), has finally responded to the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association's request for a temporary restraining order on the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

The DOJ just made the deadline of Sept. 21 set by Hon. Judge Mary L. Cooper for submitting a response brief.

The brief opposing iMEGA's request for a temporary restraining order against UIGEA more or less repeated the defendants' arguments in their original motion to dismiss the suit.

The defendants make the case that iMEGA lacks sufficient standing to bring its complaint, and that the law is "unripe" (in their opinion) for challenge due to the government's having missed the deadline of 270 days from the signing of the law (Oct. 13, 2006) to provide the necessary regulations for enforcing the law.

There is no immediate legal jeopardy for iMEGA members facing UIGEA and the members have not faced prosecution, according to the defendant. The DOJ also mentioned that UIGEA does not violate free speech because the act is not a regulation of speech at all. Rather UIGEA prohibits a person engaged in the business of betting or wagering from knowingly accepting monetary instruments in connection with another person in unlawful Internet gambling.

The temporary restraining order iMEGA requested would see UIGEA overturned and the law declared unconstitutional.

iMEGA has argued the government is trying to have it both ways by insisting the law cannot be challenged due to the government's own failure to meet the the law's requirements.

The two sides will meet in person in court to debate the issue tomorrow (Sept. 26, 2007).

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