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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

The iMEGA vs. UIGEA War Wages On

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On June 5th of this year the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association filed a lawsuit against the US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez, in a bold move to stop the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). Originally the hearing date was set for September 4th, but it has been postponed until later this month on the 26th.

The UIGEA was signed and went into effect in October 2006 making it illegal for Americans to place bets over the internet. This bill forced banks to halt operations with gambling websites which in turn forced many poker websites to shut their doors to players in the U.S.

Eric M. Bernstein, attorney for the iMEGA states, "The purpose of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is to prevent Americans from engaging in their fundamental rights to conduct their lives in the manner they wish to live it - to be free from the government imposing public morality in the privacy of one's home." The group argues that the UIGEA is unconstitutional because it places blanket restrictions on the nation, it strikes too broadly, and that it violates previously established legal guidelines regarding "consensual private conduct."

Judge Mary L. Cooper will be presiding over the hearing on September 26th and will hear oral arguments from both sides to determine if she will move forward on implementing a restraining order against the UIGEA which would most likely force the Department of Justice to respond faster to the lawsuit.

The iMEGA's lawsuit is a modern day approach to regulate and tax internet gambling and it provides us with another alternative to banning online gaming. "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 exacerbate problem gambling," iMEGA said.

The UIGEA forbids online poker, but says it's okay to bet on horse racing and play the lottery. In my opinion, I have the right to spend my money any way that I see fit and if I choose to donk off my paycheck to the fine people at Bodog or Ultimate Bet , well, that should be my choice!

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