Are the Wire Act Woes Almost Over?

The long-running case involving the United States Wire Act may finally be over (knock on wood). A filing this week in the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit seems to indicate that the case is about to come to an end. Basically, breaking down the legal jargon, it seems as though the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney General have until June to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

On March 15, the court issued a new mandate. It said that based on a judgement on January 20th of this year, a formal mandate of the court is constituted. This is a procedural step that formalizes the decision from January.

The AG and DOJ now have until June 15, 2021 to appeal the issue. This leaves 90 days to file a petition for a writ of certiorari. This would be a formal request to the United States Supreme Court. It is expected that this will not happen because of the new administration.

The Obama administration is the one that changed the Wire Act in 2011 to allow states to provide online gambling services. Fast-forward to the Trump era, and the administration decided to change the decision. This opinion has been overruled.

Now that Trump lost the 2020 election and Joe Biden is the President of the United States, it is highly unlikely his administration will try to challenge the Wire Act. It is believed that the new AG Merrick Garland will not be motivated to continue pursuing the course of action against the Wire Act. The new AG should decide to side with the courts.

Hopefully, the US is on the path to seeing the Wire Act case come to an end and on a positive note for gambling operators. Only time will tell as to what will happen, but all signs currently point to a win for the iGaming industry.

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