The Federal appeals court upheld the view that the 1961 Wire Act applies only to Sports Betting. The two-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit came in favor of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission against the Department of Justice.
The Wire Act’s prohibition on communicating wagering information across the state lines is only applicable to sports betting. However, it is not extended to other forms of gambling.
The ruling has opened the door for the states that have legalized online poker for sharing the liquidity. States like Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have entered into such agreements. However, this ruling has opened the gates for the states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.
DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued an opinion in 2011 that Wire Act is extended to sports betting events only. This came when state lotteries requested if they could sell tickets online if the data is supposedly routed across state lines. The interstate online gambling markets in New Jersey and other states have now opened.
However, in 2018, DOJ issued another opinion that has negated the 2011 opinion. However, this was considered a decision favoring Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands casino boss.
However, the New Hampshire lottery commission immediately challenged OLC’s opinion. In June 2019, the commission won the approval of US District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro.
The DOJ has the option of appealing against the ruling to the Supreme Court. However, it does not seems likely. Sheldon Adelson has passed away from cancer recently. Donald Trump has left Whitehouse as Joe Biden has assumed the Presidency now as the 46th President of the US.