December 28, 2011
Two Department of Justice announcements boost the online gaming industry.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that the Wire Act 1961 will now apply only to online sports betting and not to online poker and online casino gambling. The decision follows a re-evaluation of the Wire Act by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel.
This decision will be little consolation to the individuals and and operators who have been prosecuted under the act, but it is undoubtedly a step forward for the industry.
In a second announcement, the DoJ said individual states can license and regulate non-sports betting related intrastate online gambling. However, in states where online gambling is banned, the DoJ can prosecute illegal operators.
Industry experts believe the decision was caused partly by the expected legalization of online poker. An American Gaming Association statement said that the time is ripe for federal legislation to curb unlicensed and unregulated online gaming websites.
The announcements follow a tough 2011 for the industry, which saw closures of online poker rooms and major online casino groups and a slump in online gambling traffic.