The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a reversal of the 2011 Wire Act Opinion, which could devastate the online gaming industry. This could cause the DOJ the opportunity to prove that all forms of online gambling is illegal. The DOJ is not the final voice of this as they have just stated an opinion which does not mean that the way they view the law is accurate. Federal courts had ruled that online betting rules only apply to sports betting.
The DOJ opinion targets online lotteries. Online lotteries have grown across the country over the past 6 years. Each state allocates the funds wherever they have a shortage. The idea of stopping this revenue generating gaming is devastating to states like Pennsylvania who use these funds to help seniors in the state.
The fear of this opinion by the DOJ is that fantasy sports may also be affected and online poker, and this could decrease the amount of taxes that states are bringing in which they utilize for infrastructure, education, and healthcare.
Online casinos are also under attack by this opinion. These casinos are now being operated in three states and the taxation data is incredible. Delaware for instance has gained over $500,000 in tax revenue in four months. If passed the DOJ opinion it will impact schools, and hospitals in this state will be greatly impacted. Another casualty Sports betting was illegal until 2016 when the Supreme Court overturned PASPA which allowed states to legalize sports betting online. New Jersey, Nevada, West Virginia, and Mississippi currently have some online sports betting that is legal in their states and this is increasing state tax revenue.
Rod Rosentstein, the Deputy Attorney General, has requested that the DOJ not enforce their opinion but ultimately the ruling is going to be decided in courts and most likely will take years to make a final decision.