Thursday, 16 February 2012

Change in view on scope of US Wire Act

The US Department of Justice has concluded that the 1961 Wire Act is 'not to be implicated by online wagering on activities other than sports'. The DoJ made public the Opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), who concluded that the Wire Act should only be applied to sports betting activities. 

Before its announcement, the DoJ applied the Wire Act to all forms of online interstate gambling, but Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz said that "interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to a 'sporting event or contest' fall outside the reach of the Wire Act". 

"The news is big for US states and has spawned much speculation on how states and Congress will respond", said Linda Shorey, Partner at K&L Gates. While some industry experts claim the new approach by the DoJ paves the way for a regulation - and legalisation - of online gambling activities Shorey remains doubtful. "What the change means is the subject of much discussion. No consensus has emerged, yet." 

Michiel Willems © 2012 CP Publishing Ltd. London, UK. Picture: CP Conferences 2011.