WIRE ACT RE-INTERPRETATION MAY COMPLICATE THE US SPORTS BETTING MARKET LANDSCAPE
As the 2018 closes, there are new rumors the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is once again planning revision of its interpretation regarding the scope of applicability of the 1961 Wire Act. There is substantial possibility for new interpretation to broaden its application to all forms of online gambling.
Back in 2011, DOJ issued an official interpretation that Wire Act provisions, banning the interstate data transmission for sports betting wagering, applied only to online sports betting. The then legal opinion has been favourable to US online lottery and casino operators.
However, there are firm indications that DOJ considers reviewing this official position. Given the discussion on this number one legal topic post-PASPA gets re-intensified, there is a broad line of potential negative implications to the existing intra-state US sports betting market, quickly transforming since May 2018.
If adopted, this re-interpretation may bring additional regulatory uncertainty in US sports betting market. The first severe implication would be that banks once again ban gambling-related transactions and declare them illicit.
As US Attorney general left his office this November, it remains to be seen whether this policy proposal came from himself or his acting replacement.