60-Year-Old Wire Act Still Has Teeth – Agora Poker

60-Year-Old Wire Act Still Has Teeth

60-Year-Old Wire Act Still Has Teeth

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice clarified that the Wire Act of 1961, which banned gambling across state lines, only applied to sports betting . In 2018, the same body declared that it applied to any form of gambling. In 2020, a federal judge ruled that the more limited 2011 interpretation ruled the day. A 2021 judicial panel agreed — mostly .

So does that mean that the parameters on gambling on the internet are settled? A panel of experts at Sunday’s National Council of Legislators from Gaming States ( NCLGS ) meeting in Boston informed the audience that was not necessarily the case — whether they wanted to hear it or not.

Mark Hichar, a shareholder in the prominent Greenberg Traurig law firm who has written extensively on the law that dates back to the Kennedy administration, explained that in 2005 lawmakers in Illinois sought clarification on whether the Wire Act would prevent them from extending its lottery to the internet. The initial response was that such gambling offerings would be illegal.

But in 2011, the DOJ issued an opinion that the Wire Act — established half-a-century earlier in an effort to stifle organized crime — only prohibited sports betting that crossed state lines , thus making it a federal point of contention. That led to Illinois, Georgia, and other states offering iLottery play, and the issue seemed settled — until 2018.

At that point, the DOJ reversed its 2011 opinion , declaring that any gambling that crossed state lines was barred by the 1961 federal law. The department also instructed all federal prosecutors to adhere to the new opinion.

The technological details of how any lottery ticket was issued — even intrastate lottery tickets — became a potential issue because such a ticket could possibly be interpreted as “crossing state lines.” The New Hampshire Lottery decided in 2019 to challenge the new edict, and a federal judge upheld the lottery’s interpretation — while also declaring that the 2018 opinion be voided. A federal appeals court panel agreed , for the most part, in 2021 — except that it did not agree […]

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