Legal Interpretations Will Determine What’s Next for Wire Act

January 15, 2019, Las Vegas Review-Journal, by Richard N. Velotta

(Dennis Gutwald provides insight on the U.S. Justice Department’s recent reversal of its opinion on Internet gambling)

Depending on who you talk to, the reinterpretation of the Wire Act by the U.S. Justice Department will either be no problem for Nevada — or a big problem.  Gaming industry legal experts have begun analyzing the effects of the new interpretation of a 23-page opinion issued Monday by Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel of the department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

The 1961 Wire Act originally was intended to block sports betting across state lines through telephone and wire communications as a means of deterring organized crime.  In 2011, the Justice Department of President Obama’s administration interpreted the law to ban sports betting, but enabled interstate poker play and lottery sales. The new interpretation bans all forms of interstate betting, including sports wagering, and also includes other gambling-related interstate communications.

The opinion was dated Nov. 2 and it’s unclear why it wasn’t posted until Monday. “We acknowledge that some may have relied on the views expressed in our 2011 opinion about what federal law permits,” the opinion says. “Some states, for example, began selling lottery tickets via the internet after the issuance of our 2011 opinion. But in light of our conclusion about the plain language of the statute, we do not believe that such reliance interests are sufficient to justify continued adherence to the 2011 opinion.”  To read entire article click here.


About McDonald Carano

McDonald Carano has helped to shape the Nevada business and legal landscape for 70 years. With more than 60 lawyers and government affairs professionals in our offices in Las Vegas and Reno, we are Nevada's law firm for business. We proudly represent Fortune 500 companies, financial and governmental institutions, fast-growth and mid-market companies, entrepreneurs, start-up ventures, non-profit organizations and individuals. Our attorneys deliver cross-discipline, one-stop, commercial law and government affairs counsel. Our dedication to clients, innovative thinking and practical solutions based in sound business and legal judgments are at the heart of our practice. For more information, visit mcdonaldcarano.com, call 775.788.2000 (Reno office), or 702.873.4100 (Las Vegas office) or reach us by email at info@mcdonaldcarano.com.

Media Contact

Brian Dickson


702.257.4559

You have chosen to send an email to McDonald Carano. The sending or receipt of this email and the information in it does not in itself create an attorney-client relationship. If you are not already a client, you should not provide us with information that you wish to have treated as privileged or confidential without first speaking to one of our lawyers. If you provide information before we confirm that you are a client and that we are willing and able to represent you, we may not be required to treat that information as privileged, confidential, or protected information, and we may be able to represent a party adverse to you.

I have read this and want to send an email.