Wire Act

Wire Act Deemed not to apply to all forms of Gambling

Back in January 2019 the United States Department of Justice provided a ruling that stated the 1961 Wire Act did indeed cover all aspects and forms of online gambling. In a move that sent potential shockwaves through those US states that have a regulated framework in place for iGaming.

This ruling in January from the DOJ, pretty much overturned, overnight, the 2011 ruling which gave individual states the authorisation to decide as to whether they could regulate the ability to gamble online in their respective states.

Furthermore the January ruling from the DOJ meant that there could have been the very real possibility that U.S Attorneys, Assistant Attorneys and the FBI  at any time commencing actions against operators taking US players. A worry indeed.

However, there has been some good news in light of the above as the New Hampshire Lottery Commission in March this year launched a lawsuit challenging the DOJ’s ruling. Well earlier this month on the 4th June, United States District Judge, Paul Barbadoro ruled the following: “ hereby declare that [the Wire Act] applies only to transmissions related to bets or wagers on a sporting event or contest. The 2018 OLC Opinion is set aside.”

By setting aside the ruling of the DOJ, operators in regulated states have had a much needed boost. Following Barbadoro’s assertion, just last Wednesday the Department of Justice issued a memorandum from the Deputy Attorney General. In said memorandum, the Deputy Attorney General ensures there will be no further action concerning the Wire Act until the turn of the year at the earliest.

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