Justice Dept. reverses Wire Act opinion that said law is limited to sports betting

Mon, Jan 14, 2019 (6:14 p.m.)

The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel has issued a replacement for its 2011 opinion saying that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting.

The opinion now makes the Wire Act applicable to any form of gambling that crosses state lines, including online gambling and online lottery. Several states have legalized online gambling in the wake of the 2011 opinion, including New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Sports betting and online sports gambling have cropped up in many states in the past year in the wake of the strike down of the federal ban in 2018. So in practice, the Wire Act — which already applied to sports betting — remains unaffected.

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