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This Week in Gambling: US online gambling victory

28 January 2021

The fight for U.S. online gambling may be over and it looks like the good guys have won. The First Circuit Court of Appeals has made a decision in the New Hampshire Lottery case, and the Justice Department isn't happy about it, as online gambling in America just set new records.

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission has won its case against the US Department of Justice regarding their 2018 "about face" change of opinion on the Federal Wire Act. This is a major victory for US online gambling and the second defeat for the DOJ in this case.

As first reported by a lawyer affiliated with the litigation, Jeff Ifrah, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the plaintiff, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission. Thus upholding the decision of a lower court that the Justice Department new interpretation of the law is invalid.

Ifrah serves as council for IDEA Growth, an association of operators, payment processors and other companies related to online gambling. Subsequent to our publication of this article, IDEA released its own statement including commentary from Ifrah. As was the case at the District Court level, much of the appellate decision concerns the ambiguous linguistic construction of the original statute as passed by Congress in 1961.

The DOJ can now appeal the case to the Supreme Court of the United States. However, there’s no guarantee that it will do this, or that the Supreme Court would agree to hear it.

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