Online gambling has been an option in the United States since the Department of Justice decided to redefine the Wire Act of 1961 in 2011. With the new opinion on the Wire Act, individual states could pass legislation to provide online casino and poker gaming to their residents. New Jersey was one of the first to act, passing legislation in 2013. Since that time, New Jersey has become the top provider of iGaming in the US. Lawmakers want to maintain their thriving industry and have now sent a letter to the DOJ in the hopes to see the Trump Administration stay away from making any changes to the Wire Act.
Last week, the Department of Justice was sent a letter signed by two senators who have credited the rebirth of Atlantic City to online gambling. Robert Menendez and Cory A. Booker both want to see the Wire Act upheld as-is so that Atlantic City as well as New Jersey will continue to be successful due to the addition of online gambling.
New Jersey Earned Over $245 Million In 2017
The letter was a response to one sent by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham in November. The two senators wanted to see the Department of Justice reverse the legal opinion from 2011 where online gambling was legalized. If this were to happen, New Jersey would suffer greatly, especially Atlantic City. New Jersey was able to earn just over $245 million in 2017 from online gaming, a large sum of money that would be greatly missed if online gaming were to be banned on a federal level.
It seems as of right now there will not be significant changes to the Wire Act but the new US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated in the past that he wouldn’t be opposed to revisiting the 2011 opinion. With Pennsylvania becoming the fourth state to legalize online gaming late last year and several other states already reviewing the option this year, it will end up causing more harm than good, in several ways, if the Wire Act were to be reinterpreted back to its original form.