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Wire Act enforcement delayed until mid-June

US DoJ pushes deadline to give operators more time for compliance

The US Department of Justice has announced  that it is further delaying enforcement of its new opinion on the scope of the Wire Act to give online gambling operators more time to bring their operations into compliance.

The DoJ had originally given operators a 15th April deadline to comply with the new Wire Act opinion, with the extended deadline it looks likely that the legal waters won’t be tested until end June or early July t the earliest.

The DOJ now considers the Wire Act as applying to most forms of online gambling, not just sports betting. The vaguely worded act is considered by many to be legally unstable and has called into question the legality of intrastate online gambling and lottery operations that temporarily reroute data in the course of their transactions, along with the payment processing that allows these sites to conduct business with gambling customers.

In February, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission and the state’s attorney general filed a legal challenge of the DOJ’s new opinion. The state’s online lottery platform provider NeoPollard Interactive filed its own challenge the same day, and now a third suit has been filed by the iDEA Growth trade group.

It appears increasingly unlikely that the DOJ will be able to launch any enforcement proceedings against entities it deems to be violating the new Wire Act stance before the First Circuit courts issue an injunction preventing the DOJ from taking any action.

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