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Mixed Signals With iMEGA vs. Alberto Gonzales, et al.
by Karl Yu


The online gambling community seemingly scored a big victory yesterday when non-profit online gambling organization iMEGA announced on its website that, "Judge Mary L. Cooper, of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, [granted] iMEGA the standing to pursue a challenge of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)."

Last June, iMEGA filed a lawsuit essentially seeking to overturn the UIGEA.

The suit named then embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Reserve as defendants on the grounds that the UIGEA infringed on the privacy of U.S. citizens or as Eric Bernstein, iMEGA's attorney, said, "[prevents] Americans from engaging in their fundamental rights to conduct their lives in the manner they wish to live it."

According to yesterday's announcement, the ruling from Judge Cooper was crucial win according to Bernstein:

"Granting iMEGA standing is a major victory any way you look at it," he said.

"Judge Cooper’s ruling holds that, even with the passage of UIGEA, online gambling is only illegal in states where a statute specifically says it is."

But reports today seemed to put a damper on the so-called "big win".

According to a report from the Associated Press, while Judge Cooper did grant iMEGA "legal standing to challenge the [UIGEA] in an appellate court", she also dismissed the challenge as well.

"[Judge Cooper also] determined that the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association had not shown sufficient cause to order her to block enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, passed by Congress in 2006," the AP report went on to say.

Bernstein also said the following in the announcement yesterday, "We believe Judge Cooper missed the opportunity to affirm Americans’ online privacy rights and we plan to appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals."

A slightly confusing situation to say the least.

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