Saturday, December 24, 2011
US DOJ says -1961 Wire Act does not apply to poker
U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote in a letter Friday that "the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel has analyzed the scope of the Wire Act, 18 U.S.c § 1084, and concluded that it is limited only to sports betting."
A 13-page legal opinion written by Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz in September was released today - and appears to be a tip-toe attempt to provide support for New York and Illinois online lottery plans.
Business webiste Forbes called the shift a big win for state lotteries that hope to use the Internet to sell lottery tickets to adults.
But it's also a major boon for online poker as the US government's previous position played a big role in the recent crackdown on online poker sites. But now, Internet poker isn't barred by any federal statute.
Forbes.com notes "the Justice Department ... has long relied on the law (Wire Act) when asserting that all forms of Internet gambling, especially online poker, are illegal."