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Group Sues Minnesota Regulators Over Gambling Ban
Gambling lobbying group says ban violates First Amendment
by Karl Bode 12:54PM Friday May 08 2009
The Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) filed a lawsuit earlier this week against Minnesota regulators who are demanding that broadband ISPs ban user access to gambling websites. According to a statement on the iMEGA website, iMEGA filed suit against John Willems, director of the Department of Public Safety's Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement division. Willems sent letters to 11 ISPs and TV carriers last week demanding they filter gambling sites. iMEGA also sent a letter to ISPs.

"Because website operators are not subscribers of yours, have no contracts with you and are not provided facilities by you, you should be aware the the MN DPS is attempting to mislead (either intentionally or inadvertently) you into believing that you are bound by federal law to do what the MN DPS asks," the letter says. "In fact, [the Wire Act] simply does not apply to the web site operators and imposes no duty upon you and provides no authority to you to comply with the MN DPS request."

Most of the ISPs sent the request by Willems (like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast) have legal departments that already probably knew that. Willems is trying to force carriers to adhere to "common carrier" regulations designed for phone companies who do direct business with gambling operations. But given that ISPs are considered "information services" free of such regulations, most legal experts don't think Minnesota has a case.

iMEGA's suit claims that Minnesota's actions violate constitutionally protected free speech rights. According to the iMEGA profile, the group is a nonprofit group dedicated to the "growth and innovation of the Internet," which is modern code for a DC lobbying organization whose goal is to protect gambling company revenues.

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S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

So why stop at gambling..?

theres some hateful type speech that should also fall into this category!
[/sarcasm]

Hpower
Roflmao

join:2000-06-08
Glendale, CA

1 edit

hah

lol I totally saw this coming.
--
The Internet is about to go down....it is actually.

Go Tarheels
Premium
join:2006-01-05
Nashville, NC
kudos:1

The ISP's aren't going to do anything

I work for one of the affected ISP's, and there are talks with multiple ISP's about this in MN. Right now the thinking is that Cable/DSL is not regulated therefore this is nothing more than the state trying to flex its limp muscle.

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

Re: The ISP's aren't going to do anything

So just what constituancy are they trying to impress then?

POB
Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Premium
join:2003-02-13
Stepford, CA

Re: The ISP's aren't going to do anything

said by S_engineer:

So just what constituancy are they trying to impress then?
The bible thumping fundies who want to impose their morality on everyone else, of course. There isn't a shortage of opportunistic politicians willing to grandstand for moralistic bullshit outrage among the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do religious nutjobs.
dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN

Re: The ISP's aren't going to do anything

said by POB:

said by S_engineer:

So just what constituancy are they trying to impress then?
The bible thumping fundies who want to impose their morality on everyone else, of course. There isn't a shortage of opportunistic politicians willing to grandstand for moralistic bullshit outrage among the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do religious nutjobs.
If that were true, I doubt the state would be so heavily involved in gambling itself by way of the lottery. This was an action by an unelected bureaucrat (not an "opportunistic politician) that was more likely aimed at protecting existing gambling operations from competition.

POB
Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Premium
join:2003-02-13
Stepford, CA

1 edit

Re: The ISP's aren't going to do anything

said by dynodb:

I doubt the state would be so heavily involved in gambling itself by way of the lottery.
Hypocrisy knows no socio-economic limitations.The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is also heavily involved in gambling, as in State Lottery, and their legislative body outlaws gambling in any other capacity but for allowing residents to purchase that state lottery card.
--
The Toll

Tracking Lord Stanley
dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN

Re: The ISP's aren't going to do anything

It is hypocrisy; however I see no evidence to support your contention that gambling restrictions exist to placate the religious right.

States with commercial, privately owned, non-Indian casinos include states such as Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, South Dakota and (ahem) Pennsylvania. Minnesota has legal horse race gambling and poker in a politically conservative suburb 30 min south of Minneapolis.

If "bible thumping fundies" and "religious nutjobs" were the source of gambling restrictions as you stated, I seriously doubt that such states would have chosen to allow casino gambling on top of state lotteries.

nipseyrussel
Nipsey Russell, yo

join:2002-02-22
Philadelphia, PA
said by POB:

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is also heavily involved in gambling, as in State Lottery, and their legislative body outlaws gambling in any other capacity but for allowing residents to purchase that state lottery card.
you mean except for the existing and pending casinos?
dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
said by S_engineer:

So just what constituancy are they trying to impress then?
I suspect it's aimed primarily at impressing the folks at Canterbury Park (legal horse track with poker room) and the various Indian casinos.

As an example- Canterbury shut down once before due to financial reasons; if they were to go broke, that's less work (thus less headcount and influence) for the Director of Alcohol and Gambling enforcement. If he could boost their business by getting rid of online poker, his department becomes that much more necessary.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
None. The democrat part has started to become a self serving rogue group of idealists who are trying to create a perfect Utopian world in their own image. (As Nancy Pelosi coined on her own by saying "I'm just trying to save the world") The pendulum does swing both ways in this country, however, when ever it swings one way hard to one side, it's BOUND to swing even hard back the other direction such as it is now. It usually seems that anytime one party goes for a power grab and the people vote them out, the other side takes it as a "mandate" that it was really their "ideals" that people voted for. Just as in the case of Bill Clinton being voted in, it was really GH W Bush being voted out.

The dems in MN are almost just as bad as the are in San Francisco. Both parties simply need to release their claws from people's lives and realize that people are stupid. We have a fundamental right (for those of you who are right wingers) to fail and screw up.

fatness
subtle
Premium,ex-mod 01-13
join:2000-11-17
fishing
kudos:14
said by S_engineer:

So just what constituancy are they trying to impress then?
The same constituency that the 2006 Federal Law tried to impress: »www.law.duke.edu/journals/dltr/a···006.html

quote:
On October 13, 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law the UIGEA. Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn) attached the legislation to an unrelated port-security bill just moments before it was voted on. The UIGEA’s unexpected enactment created industry hysteria. Stock prices of publicly-traded e-casinos plummeted, wiping out over approximately seven billion dollars of market value. Some of the most prominent e-casinos pulled out of the U.S. market entirely. Since then, the mass media has churned out wide-ranging commentary on the Act; from complete dismissals of its viability to comparisons with Prohibition.
quote:
Beginning in the mid-90s, several bills were introduced in Congress to crack down on Internet gambling. One such bill would have amended the Wire Act to expressly ban all forms of Internet gambling. Other bills focused on preventing credit card companies and other financial institutions from transferring money in connection with gambling deemed unlawful under existing federal or state law. The bills were defeated largely because of disputes over whether interactive interstate horseracing and interactive state lotteries--huge lobbying interests--would be exempt.

¶ The Department of Justice ("DOJ") also took a hard stance against online gambling, relying primarily on a questionable theory that the Wire Act, as originally enacted in 1961, criminalized all forms of Internet gambling. In 2003, the DOJ issued letters to the National Association of Broadcasters and other media groups advising that providing advertising for e-casinos may be considered aiding or abetting illegal gambling operations.42 Months later, dozens of major media companies were issued subpoenas

Anonon

@verizon.net
Indian gaming! That's where the money is and comes from.

moon1234

@tds.net

I like the comment at the end

It reminds me of the movie "1984"

Have you received the updated and corrected "New Speak" dictionary yet?

elios

join:2005-11-15
Springfield, MO

Re: I like the comment at the end

There are THREE LIGHTS
cornelius785

join:2006-10-26
Worcester, MA

so is this how the US's internet censorship begins

I doubt anything will come out of this, but will others jump on the ridiculous bandwagon of internet censorship? Other countries have pioneered the internet censorship and have pretty much failed miserably.

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

Free speech? Religion? Assembly? Redress?

That is a stretch. I fail to see how gambling has anything to do with the first amendment. And besides, the first amendment was only suppose to apply to the federal government, the states were not under it.

The first amendment has been so abused by people who have the "best" interest of the "people" at "heart" (or otherwise stated, special interest groups out to get something at the expense of others).
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.
BigMac777

join:2001-07-21
Green Valley, AZ

Re: Free speech? Religion? Assembly? Redress?

This is actually one of the best ideas that has came from any state so far. We have had internet centureship for a long time now. Condsider the caps, piracy, internet downloads. What is this suppose to be called. And now we actually have a good reason to stop crooks and thieves from stealing money from people off the internet and we scream the loudest about this. Some times these boards just don't make any sense. I for one and glad to see this happen. No company has a right to rip people off on the internet. I firmly believe that internet gambling is evil and dishonest. You can not tell me it is not crooked or manipulated by the involved parties running these games. If so why do they operate out of foreign countries where they are allowed to. Oh I know some of you will say, but the USA won't let them or they will tax them. Who cares I think they are crooked as ever. PERIOD!!!!

Oyez Oyez

@ice.co.cr

Please sign my petition against Minnesota censoring the net

This is an important and timely issue.

Please sign my online petition to oppose it here:
»www.petitionspot.com/petitions/m···nsorship

Best,
Oyez

tim_k
Buttons, Bows, Beamer, Shadow, Kasey
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-02
Stewartstown, PA
kudos:36

1 edit

Because with the government,

If they can't tax it, then ban it.
Gypscrew

join:2009-06-10

simple

It's just simple, when they do this regulation, the state then gets funded. Don't believe me, look it up. This right here is where some of Minnesotans tax dollars are at work. Narrow minded, jack off people sitting behind a desk that have nothing better to do.

They ignore crime but put this focus on gambling, am I missing something here. Un-enlightened fools trying to be Minnesotan leaders that don't use there heads. These people went to college and are still stupid.

However, I don't cheer for online gambling either since it's easier to rig up a computer program then it is to go to an actual Casino and play blackjack or Poker. Get off your butts and go to a Casino, you have better odds.

Look on youtube and watch a roulette player loose by always betting on red and the ball lands on black 19 times. -----rigged to the teeth, even more so then an actual casino.

What it comes down to is stupid Minnesotans trying to make a law against gambling, if they keep on babysitting everyone, we are sure going to have a bunch of loosers that can't take care of themselves.

I mean they aren't doing this for other people's benefit, it's for there own, they get money for this, people need to look at that. What those Minnesota Regulators are doing is dwindling the "freedom of choice" and all it is, is self interest on there base of thinking. It's very easy to see there side and it's no different then gambling.

If we try to save all the stupid people in this world, this world will be overrun by stupid. Is it that hard for the MR to butt out of other people's affairs here?