AGA Responds to DoJ’s Revised Opinion of US Wire ActPublished January 25, 2019 by Mike P
In the US, the DoJ has reversed its position on online gambling by reinterpreting the Wire Act. Now, the AGA has come out with a response.
At a population of approximately 325 million, the US would be an enormous national marketplace if online gambling were ever to be entirely legalised. As it stands, a handful of states, including Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, have chosen to take matters into their own hands by creating individual markets for their residents.
DoJ Changes Interpretation of Wire Act
Last week, however, doubt was cast on the current landscape when the Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a revised opinion following the 2011 verdict that was made in relation to the Interstate Wire Act of 1961. Ultimately, the request to revisit the 2011 opinion was made by the DoJ’s Criminal division.
On 15 January 2019, the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, Stephen Engel, then interpreted the language to mean that all forms of online gambling between states were rendered illegal by the Wire Act. Back in 2011, the DoJ had previously determined that only sports betting was covered by the act.
AGA Issues Response to Ease Fears
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has now responded to alleviate concerns in the form of Sara Slane, who stated that operators and their partners should have no immediate worries stemming from the DoJ’s change in stance. Slane went on to state that she believed the DoJ lacked a compelling reason to reverse the well-publicised 2011 opinion.
Furthermore, Slane explained that the revised 2018 opinion does not prevent individual US states or tribal reservations from legalising and providing regulated online gambling services to residents living there. Slane also countered that compliance services in relation to gambling generate billions of dollars for the US economy.
Although speaking out against the DoJ, Slane was vocal in supporting the efforts of the federal executive department in relation to shutting down the activities unregulated gambling operators that seek to defraud unwitting consumers.