US DoJ back peddles on Wire Act opinion

News on 15 Jan 2019

The US Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) published an opinion Monday headed “Reconsidering Whether the Wire Act Applies to Non-Sports Gambling.”

The opinion puts into question the legality of any form of gambling based on a grammatical interpretation in the text of the 1961 Wire Act which industry observers note may affect the recent flurry of legalisation on intrastate online casino gaming, lottery and poker.

Sports betting would in theory remain untouched under the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned federal law prohibiting states from legalising sports betting.

The opinion, written by Steven Engel, OLC Assistant and dated November 2, 2018, in essence reverses a 2011 opinion from that same office that interpreted the 1961 Wire Act as only applying to sports betting.

The full text of the opinion can be read here.

Related and similar