DOJ Online Gambling Lawsuit Breakdown


Hello friends and thanks so much for joining
me on This Week in Gambling. We have a lot to discuss on our program today. In fact we’re dedicating the entire show to
what’s happening with the Wire Act lawsuit, so let’s get right into this week’s big story. By now I’m sure you know that the New Hampshire
State Lottery has sued the US Department of Justice over their recent change of opinion
on the Federal Wire Act. An opinion that now believes the Act applies
to all forms of gambling, not just sports betting. Originally the DOJ had given States 90 days
to comply with their new opinion or else enforcement action would be taken… an obvious attempt
to criminalize online gambling in America. New Hampshire, however, correctly contended
that the wire Act only applies to bets placed on sporting events and that the new DOJ opinion
was a direct threat to state tax revenue. That’s why they filed their lawsuit… and
then 14 additional states piled on! It was at this point that the DOJ was like…
oops! Uh… maybe we done messed up! And they issued a memo… yes, a memo… assuring
the states that, ‘hey guys, you know… come… on we’re not gonna prosecute a lottery! I mean you know us! We’re the DOJ it’s all good! But the states were buying none of it, and
the lawsuit began last week. First, the Justice Department argued that
the case should be thrown out because there was no specific and credible fear of prosecution. Yeah, they said that with a straight face
in open court after giving the states a 90-day ultimatum to comply… or else. But the judge wasn’t buying what they were
selling. When that didn’t work the DOJ argued the case
should be thrown out because there was no specific threat to lotteries! I mean, after all Your Honor, we got a memo! But the judge wasn’t catching what they were
shoveling! You see, back in 2011 it was the lotteries
that originally approached the Justice Department and asked for clarification on the Wire Act…
it was then that the DOJ said it only applied to sports bets! And that, my friends, is what led directly
to states regulating online lotteries, gambling and poker! So now that the DOJ has changed their opinion
they cannot come back and argue that it selectively doesn’t apply to lotteries… memos be damned. In fact when the judge looked at this he said
that if you take the new DOJ opinion as is the Powerball could be considered a multi-state
criminal conspiracy! Now at this point you’re probably thinking,
hey this sounds pretty good! Things are going our way! And yeah, it was good…
but it wasn’t all good. We’re gonna get into that in the second half
of our program. Before we get into the second half of our
show and let you know how this all ends, I would ask you a favor: If you’re enjoying
this program and would like to help support our channel, please subscribe on YouTube. And when you do, click that bell at the top
of the page. That way you’ll get updates whenever we publish
new videos. Okay, so let’s talk about holding and dicta. I… I said holding… and and dicta… not holding
“a” dicta. It’s legal terminology and it could have a
significant impact on what happens in this case. Basically when a court makes a statement,
or gives an opinion on a proceeding, it’s considered dicta… like dictation. It’s just their opinion and it’s not really
legally binding. Holding, on the other, hand comes with reasoning
about why a legal decision was made by a court, and that is considered legally binding. So keep those two things in mind moving forward. Now, some of you may remember all the trouble
that the United States had with the tiny little nation of Antigua back in 2014 when they tried
to enforce the UIGEA. A lawsuit stemmed from that… a lawsuit with
an opinion that could come back and bite the DOJ in the ass. In that case, the US vs. Lyons, the court
ruled that the Federal Wire Act only applies to sports betting. So, if the judge in this case believed that
that decision is holding, well, all of this could be over in our favor very quickly. But so far, it doesn’t look like the judge
is leaning that way. Also the judge in this case doesn’t seem to
believe he has the authority to make a decision about anything other than how this new opinion
affects New Hampshire. He’s already alluded to the fact that the
other 14 states are going to have to settle this matter in their own jurisdictions. That said many legal experts believe that
no matter how the judge decides this case will eventually end up at the Supreme Court. Even the judge himself mentioned that possibility. That’s fine with me! I mean we’ve already taken out PASPA… we might as
well kneecap the Wire Act while we’re at it! So here’s where we are: The judge has decided
to force the DOJ’s hand. He has given them 14 days to define exactly
how their new opinion is going to be enforced. Now if they come back and say that it doesn’t
apply to lotteries, this case very well could be thrown out. Here’s the thing though: If the DOJ does come
back and say lotteries are exempt, they could be opening up Pandora’s Box! I mean how do you cherry pick what you choose
to enforce? How do you say this form of gambling is okay
and this form of gambling is criminal? One thing I do know is that there are 14 other
states all lined up ready to take a run at the DOJ on this issue. This case is going to illuminate a clear path
for them to move forward with that. So come rain or come shine this case is a long
way from over. More fiber!