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Trump Justice Department Pits 1961 Law Against Online Gambling

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In an effort to strike at online gambling, the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel this week issued a new opinion that will allow a 1960s-era federal law on sports gambling to curtail other forms of gambling that cross state lines, like online gambling.

CEI consumer policy expert Michelle Minton explains what’s wrong with the Justice Department’s new stance:

“Congress and the Justice Department were clear when they originally enacted the Wire Act in 1961. The law was intended only to apply to intrastate sports gambling and, even then, only when that gambling was in violation of state laws.

“Now the Justice Department’s reinterpretations of the Wire Act amount to a blatant attempt to circumvent Congress and create prohibitions that Congress never approved. Furthermore, while the agency’s latest opinion is more likely to chill state attempts to legalize online gambling than stop illegal betting, black market gambling will continue to grow until our laws provide a route for legal businesses to compete with illicit betting operations.”

Related:

Myths and Facts about the Wire Act
The Wire Act was Already Restored
Congressional Testimony- Michelle Minton on the Restoration of America's Wire Act
The Wire Act and Implications for State-Based Legalization of Internet Gambling