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AGA: DoJ Wire Act reinterpretation is "unfortunate"

By Matthew Enderby

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has questioned the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) recent reversal on the Wire Act.

The DoJ this week reversed its September 2011 opinion, which said the Wire Act was legislation that only applies to sports betting.

The act, written in 1961, prohibits all interstate wagers placed, or information distributed by telephone or a wired communication facility regarding gambling.

In its new stance, the DoJ said the Wire Act is applicable to all forms of gambling – including online casino, poker and lottery. Since the reversal, the DoJ has said it will wait 90 days to implement its new opinion.

Sara Slane, the AGA’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, said: "It is unfortunate the Department of Justice departed from well-established practice in reversing its previous opinion without a compelling reason to do so.

"However, the 2018 OLC opinion does not impact the ability for states and tribes to legalise and regulate gaming on a state-by-state and tribal basis, or for companies to provide the exciting products and entertainment experiences our customers want.

"With over 4,000 regulators and billions of dollars allocated to compliance, casino gaming is one of the most highly regulated industries in the country and for decades has provided its customers with cutting-edge products in a safe, regulated environment pursuant to state, tribal and federal law."


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