NeoPollard Interactive LLC (“NeoPollard Interactive” or “NPi”) jointly owned by Pollard Banknote Limited (“Pollard Banknote”; TSX: PBL) and NeoGames S.A. (Nasdaq: NGMS), is very pleased with the decision of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to decline to appeal the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ January 2021 ruling that the 1961 Wire Act does not apply to non-sports betting or wagering activity over the Internet.
The DOJ’s decision to not pursue an appeal effectively concludes the case in favor of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission (“New Hampshire Lottery”) and its iLottery partner, NPi, which initiated the case following a 2019 memorandum that reinterpreted the language of the Wire Act. This ruling confirms that the Wire Act is limited to sports betting and paves the way for state-run lotteries to continue to sell lottery products online without threat of prosecution. In fact, on June 18, 2021, attorneys general from 26 states released a joint letter seeking clarity from the DOJ surrounding the Wire Act and its application in other federal circuits, so that all stakeholders in the lottery industry may confidently move forward in this growth area.
“We commend the New Hampshire Lottery for its leadership moving this initiative forward.” said Liz Siver, General Manager, NeoPollard Interactive. “Selling products online is a proven way to meet consumer demand and responsibly generate critical funds for good causes. As market leaders in iLottery, NPi applauds this outcome and looks forward to expanding our partnerships with lotteries to successfully leverage this delivery channel. The time is now for lotteries to engage in this strategic area given the increasingly competitive nature of the digital gaming landscape.”
To date, six states, plus the District of Columbia, have introduced full iLottery programs that sell eInstant and draw-based games online. With consumers becoming accustomed to accessing goods and services online, the modernization and convenience afforded by iLottery is essential to the sustainability and responsible growth of state lottery programs.