States Challenge the Wire Act
After much confusion and frustration over the Department of Justice’s decision to reevaluate the federal Wire Act, states began to band together in order to challenge this decision.
Representatives from fourteen states in the US joined forces together in launching legal affairs against this reinterpretation by the DOJ. A legal challenge from the New Hampshire Lottery Association is in the front of this march against the new Wire Act.
Memorandums in defense of igaming industry
New Jersey representatives stated many strong points through an ‘Amicus Curiae’ memorandum. One point stated that if this revised interpretation of the Wire Act is enforced, it could very well end the NJ online gambling industry. Its operations are run by interstate means. The Garden State is also currently in agreement with Delaware and Nevada on its poker liquidity shared through multiple states. Further, in this memorandum, the argument states that “It is simply the nature of the internet that even purely intrastate transactions may travel through channels that cross state lines.”
The Michigan Lottery filed an ‘Amicus Curiae’ memorandum as well, stating that twelve state lottery operators and other jurisdictions wish to get involved with this case. There are many who wish to present their arguments and disagreements with the reevaluation of the Wire Act.
The states currently challenging this decision in this legal online gambling movement include:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- North Carolina
- Washington DC
Inconsistency in federal online gambling laws
Through a memorandum, these states all agree that the legal conclusions made by the DOJ, in their reinterpretation of the Wire Act, were “erroneous.” The states stated that this decision clearly shows a need for “nationwide equitable relief” as a result of what this revised interpretation could bring. In the memorandum, the states explained that failure to coordinate the Wire Act with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act would create a “confusing and inconsistent body of federal anti-gambling laws.”
Pennsylvania jumps in
After an attempt to voice its opinion in conjunction with this legal movement, Pennsylvania was denied from the collective movement and forced to file an individual Amicus brief. The state claimed that the DOJ’s revised interpretation is inconsistent and was a completely random decision, based on the nature and overall meaning of the Wire Act.
The District Court of New Hampshire denied Pennsylvania from the legal action, however, because of their responsibility for the conduct of the overall legal case.
This case will be heard on April 11, 2019.