Justice Department: Online Gambling Illegal Under Wire Act

The U.S. Department of Justice has changed their opinion on the Wire Act, thanks to millions of dollars in donations from Sheldon Adelson. Reversing a decision from 2011, the DOJ now claims that the 1961 legislation prohibits Internet casino games and poker. They plan to begin enforcing the new interpretation within 90 days. Will states have to shut down regulated online gaming? Links to gambling news stories, games reviews and special offers below.

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✴️ Online Gambling Illegal Again… Sorta… Maybe… ✴️
Is online gambling illegal even in states where it’s regulated? I guess we’ll see… as the Department of Justice has issued a replacement for its 2011 opinion which said that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting.

The new opinion now makes the Wire Act applicable to any form of gambling that crosses state lines, including online gambling and online lottery. Several states have legalized online gambling in the wake of the 2011 opinion, including New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Sports betting and online sports gambling have also cropped up in many states in the past year in the wake of the strike down of the federal ban in 2018. So in practice, the Wire Act — which already applied to sports betting — could remain unaffected.

Given that environment, it’s not entirely clear that the new opinion would at all make online gambling illegal. Legal intrastate online sports betting already appears to be fine under the Wire Act. But there are some legal analysts who believe there are lots of potential issues to consider.

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