Reevaluation of Wire Act May Lead to Legal Online Gambling

By Maria McCoyGoogle

The Office of Legal Council of the United States Department of Justice has reexamined the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and decided that it only applies to sports betting.  The USDOJ’s Criminal Division had, until now, prosecuted online casinos based on an erroneous understanding of the bill, assuming it applied to any and all forms gambling via wire transfer.  The new understanding excludes online gambling from the bill by limiting the bill to sports betting and thereby opens the doors for a legal framework for online casino gambling.

The executive director of the Poker Players Alliance John Pappas is excited about the new understanding of the bill.  Members of the PPA, such as former U.S. Senator Al D’Amato, have been saying for years that the current legislation on internet gambling is too vague.  Thanks to the new understanding, politicians will be free to create legislation that legalizes and regulates online gambling.  Pappas stresses that Congress should create said legislation on the federal level allowing top online casinos to operate across state lines.

Professor I. Nelson Rose, an expert of gambling law, is less worried about a lack of federal-level legislation.  Predicting that most states will adapt legalization within ten years, Rose explained that the monetary incentives will be enough to ensure that states adapt liberal regulation policies.  Any state that opens its market to a wider base stands to earn more tax revenue; therefore, there is no need to fear a lack of legislation on the federal level.

Nonetheless, the PPA policy is that the government should create a uniform legal framework that will remove all vagueness and allow for positive interstate competition between USA online casinos. 

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