Date Set for Federal Appeals Court Hearing on 2018 Wire Act Opinion
A federal appeals court will hear arguments on the 2018 Wire Act Opinion case via teleconference of June 18th.
The case, titled New Hampshire Lottery Commission; NeoPollard Interactive LLC; Pollard Banknote Ltd. versus William Barr; Attorney General, US Department of Justice; United States, will focus on how the opinion affects all forms of gambling.
In total, there have been four other opinions on the Wire Act’s prohibitions of interstate transactions. These include:
- First, a lower court ruling that the Act was exclusive to sports betting.
- Secondly, the Fifth Circuit of Appeals’ affirmation of that judgment in 2002.
- Thirdly, a Department of Justice opinion in 2011 that interstate transactions not related to sports betting weren’t subject to the Act.
- Finally, the 2018 decision that confirmed that only one clause applied to sports wagering. Meaning that other provisions can apply to other forms of gambling.
This month, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission (NHLC) will appeal that opinion after a local judge ruled in the commission’s favor.
DOJ Claims 2018 Wire Act Opinion is “Just Advice”
In his reply filing, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ethan P. Davis claimed that the opinion never stated clearly how the law applies to state lotteries and vendors.
Also, the 2018 Wire Act Opinion never said why it only applied to sports betting and why it should only affect that sector.
On both sides of the debate, interested parties are hoping for the hearing to prove something. Whereas, on the DOJ’s side, supporters want online gambling banned to protect children. And on the NHLC’s, supporters want to keep operating and generating needed revenue.
At stake are public funds that impact 19 states and lotteries. If the ruling applies the 2018 Wire Act Opinion, these states will face a “catastrophic loss of revenue” for public projects. Also, it’ll affect interstate lotteries like the Powerball and MegaMillions, forcing both to stop.
Until the 2018 Wire Act Opinion hearing, this is all speculation. So, keep it locked here for more updates.