Justice Scale And Wooden Brown Gavel On Usa Flag

Another Delay in Wire Act Reversal Appeal

The chances for a near-term resolution of the battle between the US Department of Justice and the State of New Hampshire over the reach of the US’s 1961 Wire Act remain short, with another extension in the appellate case moving the next step in the matter to near the end of 2019, assuredly pushing an appellate ruling well into 2020.

The US First Circuit Court of Appeals recently granted a motion made by DOJ attorneys for an extension of time to file their initial appellate brief and appendix. The DOJ had been due to file the brief by November 12, but the First Circuit court approved the request to back that up to December 20, 2019. Once filed, it still represents only the first step in the appellate process.

ScalesThe State of New Hampshire and its two lottery-agency entities, Neopollard Interactive LLC and Pollard Banknote Limited, will then have a 30-day window to file an initial response. The DOJ, in turn, then gets another 21-day window for its own reply, and that’s without considering any other requests for extensions, supplemental filings, other motions and so on.

At stake, of course, is whether the “reversal opinion” favored by the Trump Administration and the DOJ remains ruled invalid, thus leaving all interstate (re: online) forms of gambling legal, with the exception of sports betting. Currently, with that 2017 DOJ reversal opinion on the Wire Act not in effect, states across the US are able to sell lottery tickets online, and states that have approved online poker are legally able to pool their players to increase liquidity.

All that goes away should the Wire Act reversal opinion somehow be re-validated, even if the odds are against that scenario happening. The reversal opinion sought to continue the earlier interpretation of the Wire Act, which was construed, or rather, expanded upon, by the DOJ to ban all forms of interstate-based gambling except for horse racing, which was exempted in 1978.

Though the DOJ appeals virtually all such legal disputes as a matter of principle, if not arrogance, the other way to read the situation is to consider this as a delaying game. The reversal opinion itself, published in late 2017, was crafted by lobbyists and attorneys from Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. Adelson, a rabid online-gambling opponent, may be recognizing that he can no longer stop online gambling’s expansion across the US. Still, he can continue to damage his casino competition by delaying the inevitable as long as possible. That means, in the legal sense, to file motions and seek extensions and attempt to bury the appellate court in a paperwork mountain.

It’s all but certain the matter will at least be submitted to the US Supreme Court, anyway, no matter who wins the First Circuit appeal. Though SCOTUS may not even bother with the matter, the process itself would continue the delay. Smart money says this case drags on into 2021 or 2022.

COMMENTS

Leave a Comment

*

LATEST NEWS

filter by

Haley Hintze

9th December 2019 // Gossip, Legal News, Misc, News

Peter Jepsen Verdict a Mixed Victory for Poker Justice

Last week’s guilty verdict against former Danish poker pro Peter Jepsen for years of computer-based theft from...

Haley Hintze

8th December 2019 // Industry, Misc, News, Op-ed

Ladbrokes Poker to Move to Partypoker Network in 2020

Ladbrokes Poker will be moving to the Partypoker Network at an as yet unannounced date in 2020, continuing a...

Dan Katz

8th December 2019 // Online Poker Action, Op-ed

Deep Water and Tempest Might Not Be for You and PokerStars Is Fine with That

Hold your breath Recently, PokerStars launched two new novelty cash games: Deep Water Hold’em and PokerStars Tempest...

Haley Hintze

30th November 2019 // Industry, Misc, News

Coral Poker to Jump to GVC’s PartyPoker Network

The GVC Holdings-owned Coral Poker has announced an abrupt jump from its home as a skin on the iPoker Network to its...

Haley Hintze

29th November 2019 // Misc, News

Brit Poker Player Kalem Lodge Earns Five-Year Sentence for “Chucky” Biting Assault

Then there are those players who you definitely don’t want to invite to your private home game, though it likely...

Haley Hintze

26th November 2019 // Gossip, Industry, Misc, News, Online Poker Action, Op-ed

GGPoker Network Plans Formal Exit From a Dozen Grey-Market Jurisdictions

The growing online-poker GGPoker Network has begun a concerted shift toward white-market status by announcing its...