This past week marked a major milestone in the multi-year odyssey of the Wire Act, but there was very little extra clarity when the dust settled. Following its 30-day extension, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) faced its expiration deadline last week. On February 23, with the 30 days up, the DOJ filed a motion to dismiss the case brought by International Game Technology (IGT) that sought to clarify the scope of the Wire Act.
With possible implications across the online gambling landscape in the US, the November 2021 lawsuit filed by IGT is just the latest move in a long saga prompted by conflicting opinions from the DOJ under different administrations. It was hoped that the Biden administration might make a definitive move to finally clarify the scope of the Act — specifically, whether it was restricted to just online sports betting or all forms of online gambling, including online poker — but the motion to dismiss leaves more questions and a new set of mixed opinions.
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While some industry legal experts called the motion “an unmistakable wink and nod” to the gaming industry, others weren’t so sure. Some suggested it was more of a spring-cleaning kind of move by the DOJ, trying to clear a case off its plate with limited effort, and that the motion had nothing to do with an interpretation of the Wire Act.
It’s been a long and complicated case already, but the DOJ’s latest move just seems to add to that confusion even further. Experts disagree on the implications of the motion, and IGT is left without any clarification on its future legal risk.
Read up on the full history and timeline of the Wire Act on pokerfuse. Read more on the DOJ’s motion to dismissand US gaming attorney’s thoughts on what this means for the online gambling industry at our sister site, US Gaming Review.