Of all things, the dominating topic during the opening hours of the 7th annual European i-Gaming Congress and Expo was a Kentucky circuit court judge's order for the transfer of 141 domain names belonging to online gambling sites to the United States commonwealth. And while most in attendance are trying to wrap their minds around the implications of this bold move, the order says one thing to the founder of the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, Joe Brennan: It's time to fight.
Mr. Brennan, who is representing iMEGA at EiG, told IGamingNews on Tuesday that the association plans to mount a legal challenge in the very immediate future. Mr. Brennan said they must act soon because all indications are that the matter is to be adjudicated as early as Thursday. He spent most of Tuesday in phone meetings with iMEGA counsel piecing together an initial plan and evaluating resources.
The first step, Mr. Brennan said, will be to seek an extension, which they hope will be 60 days. From there, iMEGA has two options: It can, one, ask the state court to vacate the order on the basis that the cited statute was misapplied, or two, seek injunctive relief in Federal District Court. In all likelihood, the association will pursue both paths.
Mr. Brennan said iMEGA will address the matter aggressively because the order existentially threatens some of the association's members and, on a grander scale, because they believe it is necessary to fight the precedence the action would set.
Edward J. Leyden, the president of iMEGA, told IGN that the courts would never go after land-based businesses in this manner. The situation, he said, exposes "the disconnect between our civil liberties online and offline."
iMEGA is also in the midst of a legal battle to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. In March, the association was granted the right to pursue the challenge, but the case was dismissed. iMEGA is now working its way through the appeal process.