There’s been another skirmish in the war between New Jersey and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over the Garden State’s desire to permit its citizens to bet on sporting events. Attorneys representing the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA), Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senator Ray Lesniak submitted evidence to the court of the legislature’s approval to put the sports betting issue to the voters via a ballot initiative on this November’s elections.
As both state houses had voted to approve the ballot initiative by substantial majorities (36-3 in the Senate; 55-17 in the Assembly), iMEGA and Co. wanted these figures introduced into the court record. The DoJ attorneys immediately challenged the move, claiming it had no bearing on the lawsuit. The DoJ also objected to the number and length of said submissions, claiming that the plaintiffs had “exceeded their requested page limit by more than 800%.”
In an objection to the DoJ’s objection, iMEGA attorneys essentially called bullshit on this last statement, pointing out that the court had set no limits on page counts, and had directed each plaintiff to file their replies separately. iMEGA’s Joe Brennan Jr. (scheduled to speak at the ICE conference next week in London) spoke for most of the sane world when he noted that “Does anyone really believe that 25 pages concerning a successful, democratically-held vote on the issue of sports betting to be overwhelming?”
On iMEGA’s southern flank, more briefs have been filed in the long-running dispute over the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s attempt to hijack 141 online gambling domains. iMEGA attorneys are still trying to convince Judge Thomas Wingate that iMEGA and the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) have a legitimate claim to standing in this case, something Kentucky vigorously denies, calling iMEGA and the IGC “illegal gambling organizations.”
In Brennan’s view, this last claim reveals the threadbare nature of Kentucky’s case. “In the absence of a reasoned argument, I guess calling us ‘bad people’ is going to be their strategy. The irony is they’ve accused our members of trying to avoid the law, yet it was the Commonwealth that used a secret, ex parte hearing to have the rights to the domain names seized, while providing no notice to the rights holders, and no opportunity for them to be represented by counsel. In the end, it just sad that those contingency-fee lawyers continue to use the imprimatur of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to make a cynical a grab for money.”