iMEGA Gets Courtroom Hearing on UIGEA Online Gambling Ban

iMEGA Gets Courtroom Hearing on UIGEA Online Gambling BanNot everyone is bowing down to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. In fact, it appears that hardly anyone is. Certainly there have been several notable online gaming companies backing out of the U.S. facing industry. However, what many people do not realize is how large the online gambling industry actually is – another testament of how feeble it is trying to effectively ban the industry.

Reports show that U.S. citizens continue to gamble at online casinos, while an increasing number of offshore companies continue to find ways around payment obstacles. And to top it off, there is growing support for the Internet Gambling Regulation Enforcement Act, which contrary to the UIGEA, seeks to instill a system of regulation, rather than use dictatorial force blurring the line between church and State.

Standing up the UIGEA in an even more direct way is the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA), who has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Treasury, citing a violation of First and Tenth Amendment rights. Having obtained a hearing date with the U.S. District Court in Trenton, New Jersey, there is hope now that the enforcement of the UIGEA will be put on hold.

There is a chance the UIGEA will go into enforcement before the hearing date, which is scheduled on September 4, 2007. However, iMEGA founder and former AOL executive, Joe Brennan Jr., has expressed confidence the judge will prevent the UIGEA from going into enforcement before either a restraining order is placed on the UIGEA or a later hearing is scheduled for oral arguments.

Online Betting Sees Light in France Following Court Overruling

Look out European gambling monopolies, for it appears nigh time your sequestered reigns have come to an end…well, almost that is. Moving one step closer to bringing down the French state monopoly, or at least its protectionist stance on competition from companies in other EU states, the French court, Cour de Cassation, overturned an earlier ruling that kept a Maltese based company, Zeturf, from offering online betting on horseracing events in France.

Reinforcing the increased pressure put on by the European Commission, the ruling sends a definite signal to legislators that regulating and embracing a cross border gambling industry is the route to take. The court went on to cite that limits to competition, even in the casino and gaming sectors, have no means of justification as deemed by European Union regulations. The only time the French state has the right to block online gaming sites from doing business with its citizens is by subjecting the businesses to regulation standards governing fraudulent and criminal activities, said the Cour de Cassation.

The case is not near from being over, however. It will now go to a Paris appeals court for a rehearing, which could very well take up to a year. Indeed, the courts system is another issue altogether. Despite being such a drawn out ordeal, Zeturf is delighted about the hearing, and is hopeful the appeals court will likewise make their decision in light of European Union rules. In the meantime, the online gambling industry will certainly be closely watching the case, hoping it will help to incite other state run gambling monopolies to adopt the European Union’s stance on the matter.