Good news for online poker?

by R.J. Lehmann on January 4, 2012 · View Comments

A recent memo drafted by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel on whether proposals by New York and Illinois to use out-of-state transaction processors, and the states’ own websites, to sell lottery tickets to in-state adults violated the 50-year-old federal Wire Act could offer some unexpected good news to the online gaming community.

The memo reverses a long-held Justice Department stance that the act prohibits any communications related to Internet gambling by clarifying that the intent of the 1961 law was to hinder sports betting and that “communications that do not relate to a ‘sporting event or contest’ fall outside the reach of the Wire Act.”

Justice’s memorandum does nothing directly to remove the bigger hurdle to online gambling, 2006’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which bars most gaming-related transfer payments from being transmitted over the Internet. However, since UIGEA explicitly permits states to legalize in-state online gambling, concerns that such systems would be found in violation of the Wire Act seem, for now, to have been alleviated.

The most immediate impact that would be expected is the growth of on-line sales of state lottery tickets, which New York and Illinois have already petitioned to allow. Granted that freedom, some lotteries – or other state-sanctioned gaming providers — could seek to begin offering other games to in-state residents over the Internet, as well.

The Justice Department also recently published its response to a July letter from Nevada Sens. Harry Reid and Jon Kyl that had been critical of what they perceived as Justice’s lack of enforcement of federal Internet gambling statutes. In his Dec. 23 response to the majority leader, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich notes that the OLC memo “provides much needed clarity to those state governments that would like to permit wholly in-state, non-sports Internet gambling, including Internet lotteries.”

Throwing the door open to intrastate online gaming could, ironically, have the effect of strengthening the cause of those who wish to pass legislation limiting online gambling to federally regulated online poker, rather than a further proliferation of pure games of chance. H.R. 2366, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton, chair emeritus of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would permit registered online poker sites to operate in compliance with federal licensing, taxation, safety and consumer protection standards.

Barton’s bill has support from the Poker Player Alliance, chaired by former Sen. Alphonse D’Amato, R-N.Y. In a statement responding to the OLC memo, D’Amato said online poker players would prefer “clear, consistent federal legislation to a patchwork of state laws to license and regulate the game they love.”

“State by state licensing and regulation could result in a balkanized online poker world where players across the nation would be limited in their choices of where and against whom they could play. This could potentially reduce the number of total players, reducing revenues state lawmakers project from this activity. At the same time, it would deter entrepreneurs from entering the online poker market, as there would essentially be 50 different sets of laws and rules to which they would have to adhere.”

Related Articles

  • Casino Grinder

    It is to early to be happy.

  • Football Betting

    Great!! its realy a good news for pokers. Online gambling industry is growing frequently. Online casinos websites offers free cash bonuses to attract new costumers or players.There are so many online gambling benefits and that makes the online gambling industry popular to people who love playing online casino games.nnn

  • DOJ Internet gambling ruling splits tribes – Politico | Clickbank Betting Systems Blog

    [...] a Frontier for Gambling in the USCorporate CounselGood news for online poker?Out Of The Storm Newsall 380 news [...]

  • Anonymous

    My friend won 7000 dollars in 3 weeks and has played less poker.Each problem which I have with the poker game it’s finished for me because my friend Tony helps me. He registered at and told me that is the correct and safe. nI just registered for 2 days and now my earnings are 1649 dollars… They are amazing .. I will help every people to get more money from them because they are serious and I like them. I am extremply happy now because it’s very simple. All you have to do is to create an account with your informations and play game very simple

  • Liza

    nnHey, nice post. You have shared really great news with us. OnlinenWagering is almost as safe as going to your local bookmakers or casino. Oftenntimes the rules and regulations of online gambling are better than they are inna physical casino. Online gambling allows you to play from the comfort of yournown home.nnnnnn

  • Casino roulette

    Online casino gambling industry is growing fastly and as new decision taken for this industry help it to grow it more fastly.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Previous post:

Next post: