US Government Responds to Casino City

1 November 2004

The United States Department of Justice on Friday filed a motion to dismiss a case in which an Internet portal site has asked the court to protect what it believes is its constitutional right to carry advertisements for online gambling services.

Casino City, a Louisiana-based Web site, in August filed a case seeking declaratory judgment that advertising for online casinos and sports books is constitutionally protected commercial free speech under the First Amendment of the United States. The Department of Justice responded Friday by filing the motion to dismiss.

The government argues that the Middle District of Louisiana Court in which Casino City's complaint was filed lacks sufficient jurisdiction over the plaintiff's challenge because the plaintiff has no standing and because the plaintiff's challenge is not ripe for review.

In addressing Casino City's First Amendment claims, the government argues that its application of aiding and abetting charges to advertising for legal overseas companies does not violate the First Amendment because it addresses only the advertising of unlawful activity. The Justice Department maintains that the First Amendment does not protect commercial speech related to illegal activity, which it deems remote gambling to be. It further argues that its application of aiding and abetting charges does satisfy the remainder of the Central Hudson Test, which is implicated when challenged restrictions regulate speech that is not misleading and does not concern unlawful activity.

IGN will have a more detailed synopsis of the case on Tuesday.

Click here to view a copy of the motion to dismiss.