DOJ to grant Wire Act extension for online gambling companies

DOJ Set To Extend Wire Act Window For An Additional 60 Days

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The Department of Justice will extend its non-prosecution period related to the agency’s recently-revised Wire Act opinion for an additional 60 days, according to multiple sources in discussion with the DOJ.

The original window was 90 days from the release of the memo and was set to expire April 15. The extension will push the expiration date to June 14, 2019.

The DOJ is expected to announce the extension next week.

Courts to intervene in the meantime?

The move comes as a legal challenge to the new Wire Act opinion is starting to move through the process in the First Circuit, perceived as one of the most favorable venues for Wire Act litigation.

Although it has not directly ruled on the scope of the 1961 federal law, the appellate court narrowly applied the provisions to its decision in United States v. Lyons.

A suit from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission seeks to undermine key aspects of the new opinion, including the applicability of the Wire Act to non-sports betting activity. The NHLC has been joined in the suit by Neopollard Interactive and Pollard Banknote. The trade association iDEA Growth is also seeking to join the suit.

The NHLC also filed motions requesting both a speedy hearing and summary judgment alongside its complaint.

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- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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