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Thursday, March 29, 2012

DOJ Issues Blockbuster Internet Gaming Opinion

By Robert W. Stocker II

Late last year, the United States Department of Justice released a Memorandum Opinion for the Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, in which the Department of Justice declared that proposals by the states of Illinois and New York to use the internet and out-of-state transaction processors to sell lottery tickets to in-state adults do not violate the federal Wire Act.

The DOJ Memorandum opens the door to the legal operation of intrastate internet gaming beyond the implementation of internet sales of lottery tickets by state lottery agencies. Several states have already enacted intrastate internet gaming legislation and several more states aren't far behind.

All this activity begs the question - What about federal internet gaming legislation? The failure of Congress to adopt comprehensive internet gaming legislation has in the past placed the focus on state efforts to enact intrastate internet legislation. It is unforeseen if the DOJ Memorandum will spur Congress into action, especially during an election year.

In all likelihood, 2012 will be a defining year for the internet gaming industry in the United States. Whether intended or not, the DOJ Memorandum presents dramatic opportunities for the internet gaming industry in the United States and the world market as a whole.