Monday, October 01, 2007

Video lottery parlors win injunction

Video lottery parlors in West Virginia will be allowed to advertise their games openly if Judge Goodwin's decision in WV Association of Club Owners and Fraternal Services, Inc. v. John C. Musgrave (PDF) stands.

In a 40-page opinion, the Court held:
The issue presented is whether the ban on limited video lottery advertising imposed by the Limited Video Lottery Act violates the plaintiff’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech. As a doctrinal matter, the advertising ban does not directly and materially advance a substantial government interest, and is therefore an impermissible restriction on commercial speech under the First Amendment. The advertising ban infringes upon the limited video lottery retailers’ right to speak and impedes the public’s ability to engage in informed political discourse.

I predicted back in November 2003 that we would be seeing litigation on this one, though I was off by about 3 years in the time frame.

This article in the Gazette notes that the suit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of the WV Association of Club Owners.


Anonymous said...

I read the opinion -- very thorough, although i think it's ultimately wrong. "Hiding" the neighborhood slots with an advertising ban seems like a legitimate purpose -- at least for commercial speech. the result in the long run will likely be closing a number of parlors if this is upheld. however, i predict goodwin's opinion will not stand. this case was a stretch for the aclu, like the sunday hunting case. it's great to see starcher's concurrence quoted.

Hancock.Tom said...

I think Goodwin is giving the parlors just enough rope to hang themselves. They would be better off it the decision is reversed.