New Wire Act ruling does not include lotteries, says DOJ

The US Department of Justices’ (DOJ) reintepretation of the Wire Act will not apply to lotteries, the DOJ has claimed in a memo distributed on Monday.

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The DOJ has claimed that lotteries will not be included under its new reading of the Wire Act. © Pixabay.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has said that the DOJ has decided that lotteries will not fall under the new interpretation of the Wire Act. Somewhat ironically, the 2011 reading of the Wire Act which was recently reversed specifically included lotteries.

The DOJ ruled in January that the 1961 Wire Act, a Federal law designed to prohibit gambling across state lines, would apply to all forms of gambling. Previously, only sports betting was included under the reading of the Act.

The news was met with shock from the industry. New Hampshire were quick to act, issuing a lawsuit against the DOJ in February. Many stakeholders in the US believe this move by the DOJ to exclude lotteries is a way to stop the federal case against them, which is due to be heard on April 11.

The DOJ is currently “reviewing” its standing on the issue. But it has stated that should the conclusion of the review be that lotteries do fall under the Act’s scope, then lotteries would be given 90 days to bring operations into compliance.

In March, the DOJ announced that enforcement of the new ruling would be delayed until June, in order to give operators time to align themselves with the new rules. However, it looks like this may be set to extend again, with the DOJ changing its standing at this point.

The lawsuit is set to continue. It was filed by Jeff Ifrah on behalf of the online gambling group iDEA Growth. Ifrah said that it would continue with the lotteries.

Also in March, the DOJ attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed. A memo was released containing four main points supporting why the DOJ believed the case should be dismissed.

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