iMEGA on the Attack in New Jersey
March 23, 2009 (InfoPowa News) — Look out for more legal fireworks from the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) on Monday 23rd March — the civic and Internet freedoms organization will be announcing a new action in New Jersey aimed at having the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act declared unconstitutional.
The litigation comes on the heels of New Jersey Senator Ray Lesniak's action seeking to repeal the same 17-year-old sportsbetting law as the state's land gambling venues feel the chill winds of competition from neighboring states and the effects of the recession.
iMEGA is no stranger to litigation against any law that it feels is inequitable or unconstitutional; the organization's lawyers are still involved in major actions attacking the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and in fighting off an attempt last year by the state of Kentucky to seize and confiscate international domain names belonging to online gambling companies.
The action against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is based on iMEGA's contention that the law violates the U.S. Constitution's Tenth Amendment, and tramples on the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Equal Protection Clause, First Amendment, Eleventh Amendment, due process, and privacy rights. The action will also claim that the law is "void for vagueness," lacking precision in a practical sense.
Monday's announcement will be made mid-morning at a press conference in the State House in Trenton. iMEGA chairman Joe Brennan will be joined at the conference by what in other circumstances might be viewed as unlikely allies — representatives from the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, and New Jersey State Senators Jeff Van Drew and Raymond Lesniak.
In an interview with Poker News Daily, Brennan opined that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is a violation of federalism and infringes on a state's rights to raise revenue. It created a special class for a small number of states and deprived other states from being able to be a part of it. He claims that the law is a violation of the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prescribes, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Brennan noted that the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice both opposed the law when it was introduced, arguing that it was a violation of federalism.