Effect of wire act on gambling

Online gambling is quite popular in the US. In many states, it’s legal now, so people enjoy gambling on sites like https://www.playstar.us/. The Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 1084, enacted in 1961, helped states in enforcing the gaming laws.

According to this law, they could suppress organized gambling activities across the state lines. This had several consequences on the online gambling industry.

The Wire Act prohibits betting on sporting events using interstate communications. There was doubt on whether lotteries and online gaming were permissible under this law. In 2011, the Department Of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) explained that the Wire Act is only applicable to sports gambling.

As a result, the gaming companies continued to develop more iGaming and iLottery products. However, in 2018, DOJ gave another opinion of the Wire Act. They said that the Wire Act was also applicable to gambling beyond sports gambling. This means that any interstate gambling is illegal, which includes interstate gaming and lotteries.

This decision shocked many players in the gambling industry. DOJ allowed a 90-days grace period so that the gambling businesses could act according to the revised law.

Several lawsuits were filed challenging DOJ’s decision. The major lawsuit was by the New Hampshire Lottery, and they wanted the 2018 opinion of DOJ to be nullified. But DOJ stood by what they said as they feared that criminal prosecution might occur due to interstate lotteries.

After many days of debate and analysis by the judges selected by the state, on January 20, 2021, the First Circuit issued a ruling that the Wire Act is only an application for sports betting. So, interstate iGaming, including online poker and lotteries, were allowed.

So, playing online poker and other games is now legal, and the online gambling industry is hopeful that sports betting restrictions will also be relaxed in the future.