The DoJ’s Wire Act opinion that would hit online gambling faces another hurdle as the Congress proposed not to fund its enforcement.
US.- The Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a reinterpretation of the Wire Act that would harm online gambling. However, Congress may have delivered a blow to such efforts through a recently introduced bill.
Lawmakers filed a bill proposing not to fund the enforcement of the DoJ’s Wire Act opinion. Congress filed a brief document suggesting such effort won’t be financially funded.
“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to enforce the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel memorandum entitled ‘Reconsidering Whether the Wire Act Applies to Non-Sports Gambling’ (issued on November 2, 2018),” the bill states.
New Hampshire’s ruling against the opinion
Judge Paul Barbadoro rejected the DOJ’s 2018 Wire Act opinion, which replaced the 2011 one and affected other forms of online gaming that have interstate deals. The reinterpretation would have affected states like Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, three states that legalised online gaming in 2011 and have an interstate compact for online poker.
The plaintiffs on the lawsuit presented in February were the New Hampshire Lottery Commission and NeoPollard Interactive, its lottery vendor. They claimed that the ruling would also affect the education fund.
Judge Barbadoro said in the 60-page ruling: “In summary, I deny the Government’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction because the plaintiffs have established standing, and the Government has not met its burden to show that the case is moot. I grant the plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgement and deny the Government’s cross-motion for summary judgement.
“I hereby declare that § 1084(a) of the Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1084(a), applies only to transmissions related to bets or wagers on a sporting event or contest,” he concluded.
Even as such ruling may be appealed, should the Congress’ bill succeed, the new Wire Act opinion may soon fail.