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DoJ reviews Wire Act to see if it should apply to state lotteries

DoJ reviews Wire Act to see if it should apply to state lotteries
It is still unclear if the Act includes state lotteries. Credits: digitaltrends.com

The Deputy Attorney General suggested that the interpretation doesn’t actually address state lotteries.

US.- The US Department of Justice (DoJ) recently issued a reinterpretation of the Wire Act, which would impact on sports betting and other forms of online gambling. After generating major criticism from the industry, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested that the Act doesn’t address if the law applies to state lotteries.

Rosenstein said in a memo that the reinterpretation doesn’t actually discuss state lotteries and therefore asks for a review. His question raises further criticism as it isn’t clear lotteries are exempt from the Act.

“The OLC opinion did not address whether the Wire Act applies to state lotteries and their vendors. The Department is now reviewing that question,” says Rosenstein. “If the Department determines the Wire Act does apply to state lotteries or their vendors, then Department of Justice attorneys should extend the forbearance period for 90 days after the Department publicly announces this position.”

Last month, New Jersey joined a lawsuit against the DoJ for its legal opinion. The state follows New Hampshire, which was the first to file the suit in mid-February, as it claims that New Jersey would lose funding from taxes and fees, hundreds of jobs for its citizens, the secondary gains to its economy from the development of new in-state businesses of jobs.

Moreover, the DOJ’s deadline had been pushed back from April 15 to mid-June to give operators time to readapt operations.

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