iDEA Growth in the News:
- Vixio Gambling, 6.23.21: U.S. Justice Department Passes On Wire Act Appeal, Ensuring Future For Internet Gambling (see full report at the bottom of clips)
- The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will not appeal a federal appellate court’s decision upholding the legality of interstate internet gaming, potentially opening the door for the future growth of an industry which has been struggling to keep pace with sports-betting expansion
- US Bets, 6.22.21: DOJ Declines To Appeal Wire Act Decision, Potentially Boosting Poker As Well As Lotteries (Jeff Ifrah mentioned)
- Supporters of traditional state lotteries, as well as advocates for expansion of interstate online poker compacts, cheered as the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday let a deadline expire without appealing a federal Wire Act ruling in favor of the New Hampshire Lottery.
iDEA Growth Member News:
- NASCAR, 6.22.21: How NBC Sports Is Integrating Betting Content Into NASCAR Broadcasts (PointsBet mentioned)
- Viewers of NBCSN’s coverage of the Ally 400, the network’s first NASCAR broadcast of 2021, saw betting elements interspersed during the pre-race show and the race itself, as TV and league executives look to strike a balance between offering gamblers the content they seek while not turning off fans uninterested in betting.
- SBC, 6.23.21: Scientific Games Goes Live In Tennessee And Michigan With Fanduel Group
- Scientific Games has bolstered its long-standing partnership with FanDuel Group by going live with its sports betting technology in the top-performing states of Tennessee and Michigan.
- SBC, 6.23.21: Entain Pioneers VR ‘Multi-sports Club’ Experience
- Through its partnership with Verizon Media, Entain will create a new virtual reality “sports club” entertainment experience which it believes will create “more multi-dimensional experiences” for players.
- MDJ Online, 6.22.21: Maine Sports Betting Bill Laid Before Governor
- Maine lawmakers have approved a plan to authorize sports wagering, but that measure’s fate remains unclear as it lands on Gov. Janet Mills’ desk for consideration.
- Southern Maryland Chronicle, 6.23.21: Could Maryland Become a Sports Betting Leader After Legalization
- It’s been a little more than a month since Governor Larry Hogan signed HB940 into law, thereby legalizing sports betting within the state of Maryland.
- Sports Handle, 6.22.21: Arizona Sports Betting Stakeholders: One Skin Per License, Please
- With one exception, Arizona stakeholders on Monday reiterated their position that they believe the state’s new sports betting law calls for a single skin, or mobile platform, per licensed “event wagering operator,” and they requested that the Arizona Department of Gaming make that clear in its regulations.
- The Advocate, 6.22.21: Sports Betting In Louisiana Is Coming After John Bel Edwards Signs Bill Into Law
- Sports betting is on the way in Louisiana as Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation Tuesday to create the protocols and regulation of wagering on sporting events and how the proceeds will be spent.
- Legal Sports Report, 6.22.21: Final Louisiana Sports Betting Bills Receive Governor’s Signature
- Louisiana sports betting is on its way to launch as Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the final pieces of legislation into law Tuesday.
- Legal Sports Report, 6.22.21: Canada Sports Betting On The Way After Senate Passage
- Canada sports betting could launch within months as the Canadian Parliament amended the nation’s Criminal Code to allow for single-game wagering Tuesday.
Vixio Gambling Compliance
U.S. Justice Department Passes On Wire Act Appeal, Ensuring Future For Internet Gambling
June 23, 2021
By Tony Batt
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will not appeal a federal appellate court’s decision upholding the legality of interstate internet gaming, potentially opening the door for the future growth of an industry which has been struggling to keep pace with sports-betting expansion.
The last day to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court expired on Monday, and the Justice Department did not take any action or make any comment on the January 20 ruling by a two-judge panel on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
“It is encouraging that the department will not pursue an appeal, which would prolong the period of legal uncertainty that the industry has operated under since 2019,” Chris Cylke, senior vice-president of government relations at the American Gaming Association (AGA), told VIXIO Gambling Compliance in an email.
“As a next step the DOJ should undertake measures to adopt the First Circuit opinion as department policy and make clear that it applies to gaming operators across the country,” Cylke said.
In November 2018, when Donald Trump was president, the DOJ’s Office Legal Counsel drafted an opinion saying the Wire Act outlaws not only interstate transmissions related to sports betting but also those for other forms of internet gambling and online lotteries.
The New Hampshire Lottery Commission and its internet vendor, Neo Pollard Interactive, sued DOJ to scuttle the opinion, and prevailed in a June 2019 ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Barbadoro in Concord, New Hampshire.
Barbadoro’s ruling restored a 2011 opinion by the same DOJ office during the Obama administration, which led to the legalization and regulation of internet gambling in the United States.
“With the New Hampshire case now over, one interesting aspect to watch will be if the DOJ under new Attorney General Merrick Garland will use the Wire Act to prosecute the transmission of sports-betting information crossing state lines and involving jurisdictions that have yet to legalize sports wagering,” said Ryan Rodenberg, an associate professor at Florida State University.
Jeff Ifrah, a Washington, D.C. gaming attorney, praised the Justice Department’s decision against pursuing an appeal, calling it “a victory for states’ rights, for clarity in the reading of federal statutes, and for the gaming industry and its consumers.”
“Now, states considering legalizing online gaming can enter into compacts with other states that offer legal internet gaming, and state legislatures will have the ability to create rational gaming regulations that protect consumers, grow jobs, and generate tax revenues without risk of federal intervention,” said Ifrah, who founded the U.S. online gaming industry association iDEA Growth.
Last Friday, attorneys general from 26 states released a joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Garland and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco “seeking clarity and finality” from the DOJ on the Wire Act.
“States and industry participants need to understand what their rights are under the law without having to file suit in every federal circuit, and finality is needed so the industry may confidently invest in new products and features without fear of criminal prosecution,” the attorneys general wrote in the letter.
Like the AGA, the letter asks the DOJ to adopt the January 20 decision by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
Moreover, the letter asks the DOJ to rescind a January 15, 2019, memorandum which adopted the November 2018 opinion outlawing all interstate gambling transmissions.
“In Michigan alone, internet lottery sales contributed $70m to schools in fiscal year 2018,” said the letter, which was signed by Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel, a Democrat.
The attorneys general letter also noted the ruling by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is limited to specific parties in the New Hampshire lawsuit and does not apply to other federal circuits.
New Jersey attorney general Gurbir Grewal, a Democrat who signed the attorneys general letter, also released his own statement.
“It’s time for DOJ to lift the fog of ambiguity surrounding this important national issue,” Grewal said. “We maintained from the start that the Trump-era Wire Act ‘re-interpretation’ was politically motivated and wrong on the law, and we’re proud to now join with our fellow states in calling for its official elimination.”