Summary: New reports suggest that the date in which gaming operators must be in compliance with the latest Wire Act opinion by the Department of Justice has been moved to June 14th.
Just a few months ago, the Department of Justice decided to change their opinion of the Wire Act of 1961. This act was first changed in 2011 by the Obama Administration after the act was found to be out of date based on internet usage of today. At that time, the Act allowed states to begin offering online gambling services. The Act placed a ban on interstate activities, but only regarding sports betting. However, the new interpretation of the Wire Act includes all interstate gambling, which has several states up in arms due to being affected.
In the beginning, it was said that operators had until April 15thto comply. However, that date has now been pushed back to reportedly June 14th.
New Deadline Set for June
The DOJ has reportedly set a new deadline when it comes to when operators have to be in compliance of the legality changes. CDC Gaming Reports obtained a memo that was signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein which stated the new deadline was now 60 days after the previous deadline.
So far, the DOJ have yet to state what exactly they expect from operators by way of compliance. For now, states that offer online gambling are operating as normal. Once the DOJ actually makes it clear as to their position, then operators will know how to act.
The extension could be good for iGaming operators as it gives the DOJ take to change the opinion again or to limit the scope of interstate gaming. There have already been several court cases filed against the department based on the new Wire Act ruling. With the extension, the DOJ can make changes that might see such lawsuits dropped.
States Taking Preventative Action
Despite the little information as to what needs to be done regarding compliance, the ruling by the DOJ has already caused some states to act. Pennsylvania legalized online poker and casino gaming in 2017. They spent last year setting up regulations, licensing operators, etc. and are set to launch this year.
Due to the Wire Act change, the DOJ has now decided to locate all gaming servers of the industry within the state. This is an issue for some operators as they already offer services in New Jersey. Instead of using servers already located in New Jersey, they will have to find a location in Pennsylvania in order to be in compliance so to speak with the illegal interstate gambling opinion.
The World Series of Poker is also possibly hurt by the change. The WSOP takes place during the summer months in Nevada and offers players in New Jersey the opportunity to take part in online events, even Gold Bracelet options. This year, the schedule has a total of nine online gold bracelet events.
However, players in New Jersey may not be able to take part this year due to the DOJ ruling. The WSOP has yet to announce if they will still allow the players in the other state to take part or if gambling will be off limits.