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03 July

New Wire Act Interpretation to Be Enforced in 2020

July 03, 2019
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The US Department of Justice (DOJ) decided to postpone the implementation of a new interpretation of the Federal Wire Act, but it would not abandon it altogether.

In January 2019, the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) stated that the federal Wire Act, which prohibits transmission of betting details across state lines, was applicable to all forms of digital gambling (with the exception of the online betting on horse races) — not just sports betting.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen published a memo Wednesday informing US Attorneys that the DOJ would prolong the grace period until December 31 or 60 days after the decision has been made in the New Hampshire litigation. During this time, sports betting is allowed in the US. 

At the beginning of June, federal judge Paul Barbadoro rescinded the new OLC interpretation, supporting the New Hampshire Lottery Commission’s challenge. The judge stated that the losing side was expected to appeal against his ruling, with the DOJ going over its options. 

Initially, the department postponed the enforcement of this opinion for April 15, seeking to provide more time for gambling operators to start to abide by it. However, later they changed the deadline to June 15.

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