https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ports-betsThe U.S. Justice Department’s decision that all internet gambling is illegal will cast a pall on the industry as businesses and state lotteries evaluate the implications of the change and the government’s plans to enforce it.
The U.S. now says federal law bars all internet gambling, reversing its position from 2011 that only sports betting is prohibited under a law passed 50 years earlier.
Although the federal law specifically prohibits transmission of wagers and related information across state lines, the Justice Department’s new interpretation will impact all online gambling because as a practical matter it’s difficult to guarantee that no payments are routed through other states, said Aaron Swerdlow, an attorney with Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP in Los Angeles.
“This will have a chilling effect on investment and expansion in the industry,” Swerdlow said. “You are going to see legal challenges.”
Shares of casino operators and suppliers fell on Tuesday. That included MGM Resorts International, down 1 percent, and International Game Technology Plc, which dropped 2.5 percent.
The reversal was prompted by the department’s criminal division, which prosecutes illegal gambling. The opinion issued about seven years ago that the 1961 Wire Act only banned sports gambling was a misinterpretation of the statute, according to a 23-page opinion by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel dated Nov. 2 and made public Monday.
The new reading of the law probably will be tested in the courts as judges may entertain challenges to the government’s view of the law’s scope, the Justice Department said. It may also affect states that began selling lottery tickets online after the 2011 opinion, as well as casinos that offer online gambling.
A coalition backed by billionaire casino executive Sheldon Adelson lobbied the Justice Department in 2017 to reconsider its 2011 decision that cleared the way for states to allow online gambling.
The businesses that will be most directly impacted are lotteries that have become well established after 2011, said Dennis Gutwald, an attorney with McDonald Carano LLP in Las Vegas. The Justice Department’s new reading of the law will not change things for so-called intranet gambling operations in states as Nevada, where people can place sports bets on mobile devices without out-of-state transactions, according to Gutwald.
Online poker and blackjack operations are much less developed than the lotteries, but they will have to examine how they can continue to be run in light of the Justice Department’s opinion, according to Gutwald.
“Every company has got to take a close look at what they’re doing,” Gutwald said.
I guess since Orange Shit Stain couldn’t make a go of the casinos he wants to make sure nobody else can ether or maybe Pence prayed and told OSS to stop the gambling in the name of the lord or he would go to hell.