Legal Online Gambling May Be On The Way, Courtesy Of Justice Department

Online poker and other forms of non-sports internet gambling could become legal, thanks in part to a recently released U.S. Department of Justice opinion on a 50-year-old law.

Reuters reports that online gambling’s greatest enemy, the Wire Act of 1961, which the DOJ has previously contended forbids online gambling, may lose its teeth. The opinion changed the game by stating that the law applies to sporting events, not lottery ticket sales. The loophole could potentially open things up for poker and casino sites to become legitimate.

In theory, states could legalize forms of online gambling, potentially preventing federal laws from prevailing. Any changes could be too late to the previous online poker giants, whom the DOJ nailed earlier this year.

Web gambling gets boost from Obama administration [Reuters via Yahoo]

Previously: Congress To Legalize Online Gambling?

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  1. MutantMonkey says:

    So, missing out on all that tax revenue and spending all that tax payer money to fight off-shore sites finally started turning eyebrows, eh?

  2. Quirk Sugarplum says:

    I love the smell of federally-approved sin in the morning!

    • Raider Duck says:

      “Sin” is an outdated, outmoded concept. If two adults wish to engage in a consensual transaction, it’s nobody else’s business.

  3. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    I bet it doesn’t happen.

    • Cat says:

      I see what you did there.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      I know it won’t.
      The majority party in America right now is staunchly anti-gaming cause of Christian values they hold. I expect them to take the House and with Congress and the house being right controlled, It will never see the light of day.

      • rmorin says:

        You do know that Catholicism is a sect of Christianity? And that it is the second largest religion in the United States? And that they expressively ALLOW gambling?

        Saying “christian” while failing to differentiate sects that have very different stances makes you sound pretty ignorant.

  4. backbroken says:

    Won’t somebody think of the children?!?

  5. madfrog says:

    Will I be able to play the ponies now on-line? Only certain states allow that. Then again, I have a mortage now…

  6. Ablinkin says:

    Lets see at first I could, now I can’t, but now I might be able to? The indecision of this administration is simply amazing…or isn’t it?

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      That’s what happens when you have a rule-by-fiat administration.

      “Forget Congress. Forget the courts. We decide what is legal and what isn’t. We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

    • Burzmali says:

      Yes, it’s the Obama admin’s fault that a provision tacked onto a 2006 law made it illegal for a commercial organization to transfer funds outside of the US for the purposes of gambling.

      Also, you can still gamble online. The law has no direct effect on you. It’s the sites that can’t legally provide the service to you while still making money.

  7. Krazycalvin says:

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  8. tinmanx says:

    I still don’t understand why gambling online is illegal, but “buying stocks” online is fine. What’s the difference between a compulsive online gambler and a day trader? They both spend money in the hopes of making more money and can lose everything at anytime.

  9. Grungo says:

    This changes absolutely nothing. There is much more recent law that is WAY more relevant than the 50 year old law:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unlawful_Internet_Gambling_Enforcement_Act_of_2006

    • Stickdude says:

      Actually, it does.

      From the Wikipedia article:

      “Unlawful Internet gambling” is defined as betting, receiving, or transmitting a bet that is illegal under federal, state, or tribal law.

      The “illegal under federal law” part is where the Wire Act comes into play, as that’s the federal statute used to claim that internet gambling is illegal.

  10. Kuri says:

    About time. Outlaw an activity and ti goes underground, which leads to shady practices. Legalize it and regulate it, and that cleans it up, at least somewhat.

  11. AngryK9 says:

    In other words, some politician discovered a method for exploiting the industry to line pockets, so now they’re all about legalizing it.

  12. Big_aL98225 says:

    With all the native american casinos in WA state it will never get approval here.

  13. SnatchTease says:

    This will only last as long as it takes Las Vegas casinos to drop their next lobbying dime, like they did the poker sites.