Over the past few years, online gaming has been quite successful in the United States, despite the fact that so few states offer real money gaming via the internet. In 2011, the Department of Justice decided to reinterpret the Wire Act of 1961 which allowed states to legalize online casino and poker gaming if they so choose. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware passed legislation and began offering services online in 2013. The next state would be Pennsylvania, but not until this past October.
In that time, online gaming has been up against opposition, with some lawmakers and land-based casino operators wanting to see the Wire Act revert back to its old definition. One congresswoman of Nevada is hoping to shed light on the subject within the Trump administration in the hopes that the DOJ will leave the opinion alone.
Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada wrote a letter and sent it this past week to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in efforts to see online gaming continue in the US. Titus asked the DAG to avoid reversing the reinterpretation of the Wire Act that took place during the Obama administration.
In the letter, Titus discusses the fact that online gaming is not going to go away, and in the past, consumers were not protected as they took part in gaming via illegal operators. Without a legalized industry, players will still play online casino and poker games, only this time within a black market. This will only hurt business and put consumers in harm’s way.
The congresswoman also pointed out that there is a great deal of evidence that since Nevada and other states have been offering online gaming, businesses that were offering illegal gaming have since left the area. Titus wants to see the Department of Justice to not make any changes to the Wire Act as it stands. The congresswoman would like to see the DOJ consult with experts in the industry as well as regulators and consumers to see how the industry is a positive instead of a negative, if the department is considering changing the definition of the act.