Anti Gambling Groups Want In On Wire Act Case

By Ben Hamill - June 05 2019

Anti Gambling Groups Want In On Wire Act Case

Two US anti-online gambling groups have identified a possible opportunity to strengthen their cause on a judicial level. The National Association of Convenience Stores and the Coalition to Stop Gambling have applied by way of motion of inclusion to become respondents in the US Wire Act federal case that is currently underway. The original action was instituted by the US state of New Hampshire and seeks to overthrow the recent “reversal” decision on the part of the US Department of Justice, with regards to the controversial Wire Act.

If the Wire Act were to be re-instituted, all forms of online gambling across state-lines would be declared illegal. And as if that isn’t far-reaching enough, many forms of online gambling would be declared illegal as a rule. The Court has not yet issued any verdict as to whether the motion for inclusion will be accepted or denied.

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Yin And Yan

The groups may be united in terms of a common cause, but the motivation behind the motion of each party differs enormously. The National Association of Convenience Stores wants to have online gambling declared illegal so that the sale of Lottery tickets may be outlawed on online platforms. The group argues that Lottery tickets have been sold by US convenience stores for the past 40 years, and that local stores have come to rely on the income generated by ticket sales.

The Coalition to Stop Gambling on the other hand, was founded by Las Vegas Sands Inc. Las Vegas Sands is a 100% land-based casino operator, and CEO Sheldon Adelson is of the opinion that online gambling will ultimately mean the end of the entire land-based casino industry, and especially so in the United States.

The Sheldon Adelson Theory

The two organisations have been pinpointed as being the secret force behind the proposed resurrection of the Wire Act of 1961. The Act was initially put to bed for the most part in 2011, when US Attorney-General Eric Holder opined that the restrictions of the Act had bearing on sports betting only, and that betting on professional and amateur sports had been the original focus of the legislation.

The Department of Justice has for the most part not been very forthcoming with the reasons behind its most recent re-interpretation of the Wire Act. The Act is widely regarded as being archaic and completely out dated. This has raised many a question regarding the true motivation behind the Department of Justice’s apparent insistence to revisit the entire affair.

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