It will be two decisive weeks for online gaming in the United States. By the end of the month, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is called to shed light on the recent interpretations of the Wire Act, the regulation governing gambling in the United States.
Everything comes from New Hampshire: the Lottery Commission filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in the United States District Court to have a declarative judgment on the application of the Wire Act, in addition to the request for the non-application of the new interpretation ( very restrictive for the online) of the same act. Judge Paul Barbadoro then requested clarification from the DOJ and immediately afterwards he would rule on the case brought by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission. Doubts remain about the scope of the pronunciation. It is not clear whether the sentence would apply only to New Hampshire (as the DOJ would like), or to all states. Michigan and Pennsylvania are watching developments with particular attention.
“We have an obligation to protect state revenues, necessary to fund education in New Hampshire,” said Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery. Since 1964 the lottery has guaranteed the state 2 billion dollars for education and 192 million in the last few years.
The broader interpretation of the opinion would prohibit all activities related to lotteries, including the Powerball: a dramatic hypothesis for the treasury that would be found with a hole of 80 billion. It must be said, however, that on Monday the Justice Department presented a note stating that the opinion should not touch the classic lotteries, but only those managed on the internet.
The main allies of the Lottery Commission of New Hampshire are obviously the online gaming operators, who fear dramatic consequences for their business and their workers.
The DOJ by its own is somehow “joined” by Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate, who has always seen online gambling as a threat, and by the National Association of Convenience Stores which on several occasions emphasized the risks of online gambling for people more vulnerable.
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